Methodology

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The 100 Leading National Advertisers are selected from the 250 largest national advertisers based on measured U.S. media spending. That group is pared to 100 after estimated unmeasured expenditures are added.

Measured media advertising is spending in 20 national media: 18 national media monitored by TNS Media Intelligence (found in its Stradegy product), and free-standing inserts from TNS Marx Promotion Intelligence and Yellow Pages from Yellow Pages Association.

Unmeasured spending: Unmeasured is an Advertising Age estimate and includes direct mail, sales promotion, co-op spending, couponing, catalogs, farm publications, and special events, to name a few. Essentially, unmeasured is the difference between a company's measured media and its ad costs, either reported or estimated by Ad Age. A company's reported ad costs are weighted by Ad Age to reflect a U.S.-only percentage.

Acquired or divested brands or units of the Leaders are treated pro forma in this report, as if the deals occurred at the beginning of a company's previous fiscal year. The media spending associated with those brands or units is folded into or removed from a Leader for two consecutive years.

A Leader must own more than 50% of a product or unit for that product or unit's media to be consolidated with the Leader. Joint ventures with 50/50 ownership are treated as stand-alone properties by Ad Age. Sony, for example, is not credited with ad spending for Sony BMG and Sony-Ericsson, two such ventures.

Each Top 100 company is profiled in a PDF file that can be downloaded from AdAge.com at no cost. Profiles include the most recent fiscal-year financial returns, a company's megabrands that generated $10 million-plus in media spending in 2005, corporate contacts and agencies, and breakouts in 19 media.

Staff for this report: kevin brown, r. craig endicott, scott macdonald, mark schumann, maureen morrison, maria raynes, ruth reader, lacy weathersbee, dan lippe and mike ryan
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