Top 100 Advertisers Methodology

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In building the Top 100 B-to-B Advertisers 2000 rankings, BtoB used data from New York-based Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, a research company that tracks ad spending across a wide range of media.

CMR provided advertising expenditure numbers from: 11 consumer media, including TV, magazines, newspapers, radio and outdoor; b-to-b publications through its CMR Business-to-Business unit (Business Information Network numbers); and Internet spending through CMRi's AdNet TrackUS arm.

Kevin Brown, group data manager at sister publication Advertising Age, compiled the data for BtoB, ranking companies by 2000 ad spending and providing the percentage change in each company's ad spending from 1999. Parent companies and their subsidiaries are combined to get the total expenditures for the entire organization.

Figures for 1999 ad spending, used to calculate 1999 rankings and percentage growth in 2000, were updated in 2001 by CMR and may differ from figures presented in BtoB's report last year.

What market crash? 2000 set new record

Roger Slavens

Despite the major decline in the ad market during the second half of last year, record expenditures by the top 100 b-to-b advertisers in the first half more than carried 2000. High expectations for the then-burgeoning dot-com economy translated into $6.7 billion spent by these companies, a whopping 16.7% increase over the $5.7 billion spent in 1999, according to recent data from Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

The biggest spending spikes came in the telecommunications and financial sectors, where brands old and new increased their advertising budgets to solidify their positions in the b-to-b space. Companies such as Verizon Communications, SBC Communications Inc., Visa USA and Bank of America Corp. all became top 10 ad spenders in 2000.

Of these, Verizon was the biggest story, catapulting past the likes of IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Sprint Corp.-which perennially rank among the biggest b-to-b spenders-to become the No. 1 advertiser of 2000.

Formed in 1999 by the merger of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp., Verizon launched a huge ad campaign last year for its wireless services, spending roughly $276.5 million to reach small businesses and corporate executives. Verizon took a fully integrated approach, spreading money around to many media. It spent most in spot TV and local newspapers, where it merged branding messages with calls to action.

For the year, Microsoft moved into second place, spending more than $265.3 million, a 6.6% increase over 1999. IBM slipped from second in 1999 to third as its budget dropped 27.3% to $231.6 million. Sprint also slipped in the rankings, to fourth, but increased spending 37.0% to $223.8 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were: SBC Communications (comprised of Southwestern Bell, Ameritech, Pacific Bell, Cingular Wireless and other companies) at $173.6 million; American Express Co., $162.9 million; AT&T Wireless, $153.7 million; Compaq Computer Corp., $134.7 million; Visa, $128.7 million; and Bank of America, $123.3 million.

Some relatively new companies made the biggest moves on the list, including Agilent Technologies, which boosted spending 110.7% to $105.7 and ranked 14th, and Voicestream Wireless Corp., which increased ad spending by 531.0% to $66.4 million and ranked 35th.

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