Methodology for 100 Leading National Advertisers, 2012 edition

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Advertising Age on June 25, 2012, published the 57th annual 100 Leading National Advertisers report in print and online. Ad Age started the LNA report in 1956.

The Ad Age DataCenter compiled the 100 Leading National Advertisers by starting with the 300 largest national advertisers based on 2011 U.S. measured-media spending. Ad Age pared that to 100 after adding in estimated unmeasured spending.

Advertising Age's DataCenter produced Marketer Trees 2012 as an online database application detailing ad spending, brands, agency assignments and executives for the nation's 100 biggest advertisers. Ad Age DataCenter contacted the top 100 advertisers and their agencies in May and June 2012 to confirm and update information on executives and agency assignments.

Send your ideas to improve the Marketer Trees. Update us on agency assignments and executives. Report database errors. Email: [email protected]


Measured media
Measured-media advertising is estimated U.S. spending across 19 media. It consists of 18 media tracked by WPP's Kantar Media in its Stradegy product plus free-standing inserts (FSIs).

Measured media include:

Network TV: five properties (ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC).

Cable TV: 78 properties. Included in this count are four Spanish-language cable networks (Galavision, ESPN Desportes, MTV3, Mun2).

Spanish-language network TV: four properties (Univision, Telemundo, TelaFutura, TV Azteca).

Spot TV
Top 125 designated market areas: 748 properties. Included in this count are 76 Spanish-language stations.
All 210 designated market areas: 1,017 properties. Included in this count are 78 Spanish-language stations.

Syndicated TV: 395 programs.

Magazines: 210 properties. Includes ad spending in all regional and demographic editions.
Sunday magazines: eight properties.
Local magazines: 31 properties.
Hispanic magazines: 18 properties.
Business-to-business magazines: 401 properties.

Newspapers: 143 properties.
National newspapers: three properties (New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal).
Hispanic newspapers: 49 properties.
All measured newspaper data include daily and weekend editions, full-run and part-run ads and free-standing inserts; classified ads are excluded.

Network radio: five properties.
Local radio: 33 markets, provided by Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co.
National spot radio: all U.S. markets, provided by sales rep companies.

Outdoor: all U.S. markets, provided by sales companies.

Internet: 3,531 sites. Internet expenditures reflect display advertising only. Paid search, video and other forms of internet advertising are not included.

Unmeasured spending
Unmeasured spending figures are Ad Age DataCenter estimates that include direct marketing, promotion, co-op, coupons, catalogs, product placement, events and unmeasured forms of digital media (such as paid search and video).

Essentially, unmeasured is the difference between a company's measured media (from Kantar Media) and its total ad costs (either reported by the company or estimated by Ad Age ). Ad Age weights a company's reported worldwide ad costs to reflect a U.S.-only percentage.

Ad Age DataCenter accounts for cooperative advertising allowances that product marketers give to retailers, adding co-op money to retailers' estimated net--that is , out of pocket--ad costs so as to rank retailers based on estimated gross ad costs (including co-op).

Mergers and joint ventures
Brands and companies that a Leading National Advertiser had (as of June 2012) bought or divested are treated pro forma in this report as if completed deals had occurred at the beginning of the company's previous fiscal year (2010). Media spending for those brands or units is folded into or removed from the company for two consecutive years (2010 and 2011).

A Leading National Advertiser must own more than 50% of a product or unit for that product or unit's media to be consolidated with the company in this report.

Ad Age treats joint ventures with 50/50 ownership as stand-alone ventures.

Ad Age determines the 200 largest U.S. megabrands--the nation's 200 most-advertised brands--by aggregating measured-media spending for all products or services that fall under that brand. For example, Ad Age combines Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft and Miller High Life under MillerCoors' Miller megabrand.

Key data sources
WPP's Kantar Media
Publicis Groupe 's ZenithOptimedia
Securities and Exchange Commission

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