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Budgets for corporate advertising are at an all-time high and continue rising, according to a new survey by the Association of National Advertisers.

In a poll of 101 ANA member companies, corporate ad budgets rose almost 37% to an average of $16.7 million last year from 1992, the beginning year of the previous survey, and 13.1% from '94, the ending year of that study. Each ANA study spans a three-year period.

This increased spending came as more companies used corporate advertising -- 67% of respondents employed corporate ads from 1995 to '97, up from 61% from 1992-94 and up 53% from a 1989-91 survey.


The most prevalent reason for using corporate advertising -- cited by 80% of respondents -- was to enhance the company's image and increase awareness of it and its diverse interests. Strategic positioning was cited by 67% of respondents and providing marketing support by 61%.

Industry consolidation will drive the need for corporate advertising, according to 85% of respondents, with customers being the main group targeted (70%).

Most corporate advertising was done in the U.S., cited by 95% of the responding companies. Europe was chosen by 33% and Asia by 25%.


The survey found companies are increasingly moving away from one global corporate campaign for all markets. While the companies were evenly divided between those that ran the same global effort in the U.S. and abroad and those that did different efforts for foreign markets -- 46% in both cases in 1997 -- in 1994, 59% of companies ran the same campaign globally while only 41% ran different campaigns abroad.

The survey found the growth in corporate ad budgets has outgrown even the predictions made by respondents to the 1994 survey. In that year, 45% of respondents said they expected their corporate ad budgets to increase, 40% said they expected them to stay the same and 15% said they expected budgets to decrease between 1995 and '97. In reality, 62% of respondents in the 1997 survey said they had seen budgets increase, 25% said they had remained stable and only 10% saw them drop.

In the latest survey, 57% expect budgets to rise, 24% said they will stay stable and 12% expect them to drop.

The triennial survey, titled "Trends in Corporate Advertising," is a joint project of the ANA and Corporate Branding Partnership, Stamford, Conn., a strategy and communications company.

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