The gap between the world's two biggest advertisers widens when U.S. ad spending -- $1.7 billion for P&G and $691 million for Unilever -- is factored in. P&G's worldwide total is $4.7 billion, compared with $3.4 billion for Unilever.
Collectively, the biggest-spending 100 global marketers invested $37.2 billion in advertising outside the U.S. in 1998, up a healthy 5.3% from the previous year, despite a recession in some Asian markets.
Ad spending for 1998 was measured in 75 countries, up from 66 last year. Most of the primary data was supplied on a country-by-country basis by ACNielsen Corp.
Four of the top 10 increased their non-U.S. ad spending by double digits, with L'Oreal hiking its ad budget by 24.1%, followed by Volkswagen (16.9%), Nestle (15%) and one U.S. marketer, General Motors Corp. (13.5%).
General Motors and Volkswagen also both broke $1 billion in non-U.S. ad spending for the first time last year. Ford Motor Co. and Coca-Cola Co. also broached the $1 billion level.
Among the top 100 global marketers ranked, 30 are U.S.-based multinationals, compared to 43 from Europe and 25 from Asia.
Car marketers dominated the ranking, taking four of the top 10 slots and accounting for 17 of the 100 biggest advertisers.
The top global marketers are ranked by non-U.S. ad spending; the U.S. market is so big that if U.S. ad spending were included, the ranking would be dominated by companies that spend heavily in the U.S. but have little international advertising investment.
In a separate ranking of the top 100 advertisers in international print media, automakers, financial services and airlines dominate; Volkswagen took the top