Global Marketing Report: Top 100 Marketers' Media Spend

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- The world's Top 100 marketers generated a collective $98.27 billion in global media in 2005, capturing a quarter of the world's media pie as the group's expenditures hit a modest 4.5% growth, according to the 20th annual Global Marketers report.
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P&G No. 1
Procter & Gamble Co. again finished No. 1, at $8.19 billion, its media spending almost double that of runner-up Unilever, at $4.27 billion, whose 21.9% rise pushed it past last year's No. 2 General Motors Corp., at $4.17 billion.

The totals for these marketers are in large part gross media expenditures without the discounts applied to most media, and represent spending collected by Advertising Age from media-tracking services from 84 countries. For a marketer to qualify for the global Top 100, it must have ad spending on three continents, and in this report, reach a spending level of $274.1 million, the amount recorded by No. 100 Joh. A. Benckiser (Coty).

P&G set the spending tone for the group by applying the skids to its media budget, paring it to 2.6% growth from 17.6% in 2004, the latter representing a first-year fusion of ad spending from P&G and its acquisition Gillette Co. Advertising in the second year of such mergers typically cools off as non-core brands are sold and economies of scale achieved.

Overall dip
Overall, the Top 100's pace dipped dramatically from the set's 2004 growth mark of 12.1%. The group also fell slightly under the 5.1% growth in media spending recorded worldwide by ZenithOptimedia for 2005. The media specialist company counted global media spending in 2005 at $401.53 billion vs. $382.1 billion in the previous year; the media operation collects information for all marketers' media investments.

The drop-off was predictable, since 2005 lacked the big ad generators of an Olympics, a European football championship and a major U.S. election -- all present in 2004. The sporting events, besides attracting these Top 100 marketers, also drive up media prices by tightening the supply of inventory.

Additionally, all Top 100 global marketer charts reflect ad dynamics in the U.S. for obvious reasons. This year there were 46 fully U.S.-based companies on the list, and these marketers have a propensity to spend more freely in the States.

In 2005, the Top 100 spent $47.46 billion, or 48.2% of its global total, in U.S. media; that's down from 49.9% in 2004. Europe attracted $30.17 billion from the group, or 30.7% of the total, and Asia, powered by China where media spending grew about 39% year-to-year, gleaned $15.57 billion, or 15.8% of the total.

Dominant ad categories
Among the five dominant ad categories, only Top 100 spending in personal care showed resiliency. The category, which claimed nine of the Top 100 (marketers are slotted into categories that reflect their most-advertised segment), hit $19.49 billion in spending, up 7.8% -- growth propped up by Unilever's 21.9% and No. 44 Colgate-Palmolive's 22.9% boost in spending.

Automotive, the largest category at $22.76 billion in spending from 17 marketers, grew only 2.3% in media outlays, a sign of the global slowdown. Global vehicle unit sales grew only 3.7% to 64.7 million in 2005, down from 5.9% growth in 2004. The U.S. portion advanced only 0.9% to 17.5 million units vs. 2% growth in 2004.

Entertainment & media, attracting $11.03 billion in spending, advanced only 1.1%. The category's 10 marketers, largely U.S.-based, were victims of a 5.8% decline in U.S. box-office receipts. U.S.-only spending declined 29.4% in 2005 at No. 12 Walt Disney Co.'s Buena Vista unit, and an aggregate 12.9% at No. 31 Viacom's Paramount and DreamWorks SKG studios.

Food, pulling $8.13 billion in spending from eight marketers, grew only 1.5%, representing a range from 6.3% growth at No. 37 Kellogg Co. to an 11.6% decline in spending at No. 53 General Mills.

The Top 100 is poised to break the $100 billion barrier this year. One indication it is on track is the aggregate 6.2% growth in revenue through the first three quarters of 2006 recorded by the world's top five advertising holding companies whose agencies handle the accounts of most of the Top 100.
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