Methodology to the 100 Leading National Advertisers

2007 edition

Published on .

The 100 Leading National Advertisers are selected from the 300 largest national advertisers based on measured U.S. media spending. That group is pared to 100 after estimated unmeasured expenditures are added.

Measured media
Measured media advertising is estimated U.S. spending across 19 media. It consists of 18 media tracked by TNS Media Intelligence ( in its Stradegy product plus freestanding inserts tracked by TNS's Marx Promotion Intelligence (
Measured media include:
TV: network TV (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW, MyNetwork); cable networks (52); spot TV (600 English, 35 Spanish stations in 100 markets); syndicated TV; Spanish TV networks (Telefutura, Telemundo, Univision).
Internet (2,500-plus sites; excludes paid search and broadband video).
Radio: local radio (500 stations in 28 top markets); national spot radio (4,000 stations in 225-plus markets); network radio (4).
Magazines: consumer magazines (350-plus); Sunday magazines (5); local magazines (30); B-to-B titles (480).
Newspapers: local papers (250); national papers (NYT, USA, WSJ); Spanish newspapers (65).
Outdoor: (200-plus markets).

Unmeasured spending
Unmeasured spending is an Ad Age DataCenter estimate that includes direct marketing, sales promotion, co-op spending, coupons, catalogs, product placement, special events and unmeasured forms of internet media (such as paid search). Essentially, unmeasured is the difference between a company's measured media (from TNS) and its total ad costs (either reported by the company or estimated by Ad Age). A company's reported ad costs are weighted by Ad Age to reflect a U.S.-only percentage.

Mergers & joint ventures
Brands and companies that the Leaders acquire or divest are treated pro forma in this report, as if the deals occurred at the beginning of a company's previous fiscal year (2005). Media spending for those brands or units is folded into or removed from a Leader for two consecutive years (2005 and 2006).

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 standalone properties by Ad Age. Sony, for example, is not credited with ad spending for Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, two such ventures.

Top brands
Ad Age determined the top 200 brands by aggregating measured spending for all products or services that fall under that brand.

Bradley Johnson, Kevin Brown, Maureen Morrison, Maura Wall, Jess D'Amico, Katy Gallagher, Ezekiel Garnett, Vicky Perlman and Mike Ryan.
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