There has been a lot of talk about mutual funds moving away from the direct-sold channel and away from targeting the retail market, and last night's Super Bowl may have been indicative of that trend.

In recent years, fund companies such as Janus, Alliance Capital and Nuveen placed ads during the big game. Last year, both INVESCO and AIM bought airtime. This year, however, funds stayed away from the Super Bowl. At press time, no mutual funds had bought an ad slot during the game, with only a few spots left unsold, according to Marcus DiNetto, managing editor of The Sports Business Daily, a trade publication that covers the sports industry.

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