CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Telecom stalwarts Verizon and AT&T commanded the top two spots in Ad Age's ranking of the Top 100 megabrands for 2008, pumping more than $4 billion into measured media. Since 2001, a telecom brand -- either Verizon or AT&T (including now-jettisoned Cingular) -- has been the most-advertised brand.
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AT&T's measured spending was just below $2 billion, according to data from TNS Media Intelligence.
Ad Age's megabrands list is a ranking of brands with the highest U.S. measured-media spending for all goods and services that fall under that brand.
Macy's ranked third. Sprint, No. 4 in 2008, had a 22.3% drop.
Walmart Stores' Walmart rounded out the top five, rocketing measured spending 66.4%. With the U.S. in recession since December 2007, Walmart has aggressively promoted its value message.
Auto brands' measured media spending tumbled 15% last year, and there was a consequent reordering of brands. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Toyota brand, No. 6 in the ranking, displaced Ford Motor Co.'s Ford in 2008 as the nation's most-advertised auto brand. Ford slashed measured spending on its flagship brand to $666.6 million -- a 33.6% drop.
Not all auto megabrands suffered blows in spending. Chevrolet, No. 8, boosted measured spending 12.2% to $797.1 million as embattled General Motors Corp. invested in its mainstay brand.