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Published on .

The 100 Leading National Advertisers are the peak of marketing power, and it is the media spending on the Top 100 megabrands that helped put them there.

This venerable group of megabrands accounted for $18.5 billion in media spending in '96, about 60% of the $30.9 billion credited to the 100 Leaders.

These megabrands are far more than investors in the media; their sales drive corporate America and help sustain the economy; their brand images often define us as individuals and as a nation. That puts a lot of power in the hands of key marketing and advertising executives responsible for building and then burnishing images for these brands.

Ad Age presents for the first time a comprehensive view of these megabrands,

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