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Top 100 b-to-b advertisers increased spending 3% in '06

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The top 100 b-to-b advertisers spent an estimated $6.76 billion on b-to-b advertising last year, up 3.0% from $6.56 billion in 2005, according to a BtoB analysis of ad spending data from TNS Media Intelligence.

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The data include estimated b-to-b spending on business magazines, consumer magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online and outdoor.

All b-to-b ad spending totaled $14.39 billion last year, up 1.4% from $14.19 billion in 2005.

Telecom spending, driven by continued consolidation in the industry, led b-to-b ad spending last year. AT&T was the No. 1 b-to-b advertiser in 2006, spending an estimated $419.4 million on b-to-b advertising during the year, up 10.4% from the previous year.

AT&T was acquired in November 2005 by SBC Communications, which took the AT&T name and embarked on a major branding campaign.

"Right away, we had to communicate that these two companies had come together and formed one company, and that the name of the company is AT&T," said Wendy Clark, senior VP-advertising at AT&T. "We had some work to do repositioning the company."

The campaign, called "Your World. Delivered," was developed by GSD&M, Austin, Texas, and Rodgers Townsend, St. Louis, and included TV, print, online, outdoor, radio and events. It kicked off on Dec. 31, 2005, and continued well into 2006.

On Dec. 29, 2006, AT&T closed its acquisition of BellSouth, which also consolidated its ownership of Cingular Wireless and Yellowpages.com. Ad campaigns for the newly merged company began appearing early this year.

The No. 2 b-to-b advertiser in 2006 was Verizon Communications, which spent an estimated $405.9 million on b-to-b advertising last year, up 8.7% over 2005.

Verizon, which acquired MCI Communications in January 2006, launched several integrated ad campaigns throughout the year to promote its expanded services to business customers.

In February 2006, Verizon debuted a TV campaign called "Here's How It Works," developed by Draft New York, to promote its Business DSL service, and in August it launched "Triple Play," an integrated campaign to promote its TV, Internet and phone services.

Sprint-Nextel, the No. 3 b-to-b advertiser in 2006, spent $277.1 million on b-to-b advertising, down 31.2% from 2005, when the telecom company spent $403.1 million to promote its new brand following the merger of Sprint and Nextel.

High-tech companies also figured prominently on the list of b-to-b advertisers in 2006.

IBM Corp., which held its place at No. 4, spent $236.3 million on b-to-b advertising, down 17.5% from 2005.

IBM's most notable campaign last year was "What Makes You Special," an integrated effort including TV, print, online, outdoor and events, developed by Ogilvy North America, New York.

The No. 5 b-to-b advertiser last year was Hewlett-Packard Co., moving up from No. 6 in 2005, with total b-to-b ad spending of $219.6 million. That was up 5.8% over 2005.

Microsoft Corp., which ranked No. 6 in 2006, moved down a spot from its 2005 ranking. It spent an estimated $213.6 million on b-to-b advertising, down 0.6% from 2005.

Rounding out the remaining top 10 b-to-b advertisers in 2006 were Monster Worldwide, FedEx Corp., Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Monster, which jumped to No. 7 from No. 13 in 2005, increased its b-to-b ad spending by 36.6%. FedEx, which moved up to No. 8, from No. 10 in 2005, boosted its spending by 17.7%. Citigroup, which slid down to No. 9 from No. 7 in 2005, decreased its b-to-b ad spending by 30.4%. JP Morgan Chase & Co., which moved up to No. 10, from No. 11 in 2005, boosted b-to-b ad spending by 9.1%.

Among the top 100 b-to-b advertisers, there were some other notable shifts that were a result of budget decreases.

UPS, which dropped down to No. 12, from No. 8 in 2005, decreased its b-to-b ad spending by 25.5% last year. General Electric Co. slid to No. 17, from No. 9 in 2005, decreasing its b-to-b ad spending by 41.2%. Time Warner, which moved down to No. 30 from No. 15 in 2005, lowered its b-to-b ad spending by 41.5%.

Overall increase in spending

Other advertisers boosted their b-to-b ad budgets significantly last year, contributing to an overall increase in total b-to-b spending.

Apple Computer increased its b-to-b ad spending by 350.2% to $85.0 million, moving from No. 115 in 2005 to No. 24 last year. Dow Chemical increased its b-to-b ad spending by 481.8% to $61.2 million, moving up to No. 33, from No. 195 in 2005.

The report also ranks the top 50 b-to-b Internet advertisers of 2006.

Monster Worldwide came in at No. 1, increasing its b-to-b Internet ad spending by 79.6% to $101.6 million.

HP was No. 2, boosting its b-to-b online ad spending by 10.7% to $60.9 million.

The third-largest Internet advertiser was Vonage Holdings Corp., which actually decreased its b-to-b Internet ad spending by 32.7% to $46.4 million last year.

Other top 10 b-to-b Internet advertisers last year were IT career site Dice Inc., Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, AT&T, Microsoft, Capital One Financial Corp. and CareerBuilder.

In terms of media allocation, b-to-b advertisers spent a total of $3.73 billion on b-to-b publications last year, down 2.7% from 2005. They spent $1.50 billion on network TV, up 0.1% over 2005.

Internet ad spending by b-to-b advertisers increased 17.0% to $1.38 billion.

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