Ad Age Datacenter produced the 65th annual Ad Age Leading National Advertisers report. Ad Age published the report online July 13, 2020. A portion of the report appeared as the Ad Age Leading National Advertisers 2020 Fact Pack, included with Ad Age's July 13, 2020, print edition and downloadable at AdAge.com/lna2020factpack.
Ad Age Datacenter subscribers have exclusive access to the complete report at AdAge.com/lna2020. Exclusive online content includes:
- Ad Age Marketer Trees 2020, a database with ad spending, brands, profiles, executives and agency rosters for the nation’s 100 biggest advertisers
- Expanded tables, downloadable in Excel. Tables include 200 Leading National Advertisers, 200 most-advertised brands, biggest ad spenders by medium and biggest ad spending categories
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Digital edition of Ad Age Leading National Advertisers 2020 Fact Pack
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About Ad Age Marketer Trees 2020
Ad Age Datacenter produced Ad Age Marketer Trees 2020 as a database with ad spending, brands, profiles, executives and agency rosters for the 100 biggest U.S. advertisers. Ad Age Datacenter contacted advertisers and their agencies in May, June and July 2020 to confirm and update information on executives and agency assignments.
Update us on agencies and executives, and report database errors:
About the ranking
The Ad Age Leading National Advertisers 2020 report ranks marketers by total U.S. advertising spending as estimated by Ad Age Datacenter.
Total U.S. ad spending estimates come from a top-down analysis of a company's spending on advertising based on disclosures in financial filings, company reports and industry benchmarking. Ad Age weights a company's reported worldwide ad costs to reflect a U.S.-only percentage. Ad Age estimates spending for companies that don't publicly disclose ad spending.
Total U.S. ad spending encompasses advertising, marketing services (including promotion and direct marketing) and digital marketing (including social media).
Ad Age has based its Leading National Advertisers rankings on a broad definition of advertising and promotion since the report debuted in 1956. The first report called the ranking "a carefully considered analysis of total advertising and promotional expenditures for each of these giant advertisers."
From the report's launch through the 2016 report, Ad Age defined total U.S. ad spending as the sum of measured-media spending and unmeasured spending.
Essentially, unmeasured spending was the difference between a company's measured-media spending (from Kantar) and its total U.S. advertising and promotion costs (either reported by the company or estimated by Ad Age Datacenter).
Starting with the 2017 report (200 Leading National Advertisers 2017), Ad Age eliminated the calculation of unmeasured spending.
Total U.S. ad spending now is based on Ad Age's top-down analysis of a company's estimated spending. Total U.S. ad spending is lower in some cases than U.S. measured-media spending, which comes from Kantar's bottom-up tally of spending in measured media based on rate card, average pricing data supplied by media sellers and other factors. Major advertisers in many cases get significant discounts off rate cards. Not all advertisers pay the same rate.
This report's figures for 2019 and 2018 reflect data collected and/or adjusted in 2020, so 2018 ad spending and rankings for a company and its brands may be different from the 2019 figures that appeared in the June 2019 report (LNA 2019). Ad Age Datacenter changed its ad spending model for some marketers in the June 2020 report.
In addition to total U.S. ad spending, the Ad Age Leading National Advertisers 2020 report shows measured-media spending.
Measured-media spending for this report includes ad spending in 20 media. It consists of 19 media tracked by Kantar in its Stradegy product plus FSI spending also tracked by Kantar.
Kantar restated national TV, digital display and desktop search data for 2018 and 2019. The digital display restatement included desktop banner, desktop video and mobile banner media. Measured media data in this report may differ from figures published a year ago in the Ad Age Leading National Advertisers 2019 report.
More info: kantar.com/media.
Measured media include:
- Broadcast network TV
- Cable TV networks
- Spanish-language network TV
- Spot TV
- Syndicated TV
- Desktop internet display
- Desktop search
- Business-to-business magazine
- Consumer magazine
- Local magazine
- Spanish-language magazine
- Sunday magazine
- Local newspaper
- National newspaper
- Spanish-language newspaper
- Free-standing inserts
- Local radio
- National spot radio
- Network radio
Outdoor and cinema
- Cinema (included for aggregate U.S. measured-media spending; not included in measured-media spending for individual companies in 200 Leading National Advertisers)
Mergers and joint ventures
Brands and companies that a Leading National Advertiser had as of July 2020 bought or divested are generally treated pro forma in this report as if completed deals had occurred at the beginning of the company's previous fiscal year (2018). Media spending for those brands or units generally is folded into or removed from the company for two consecutive years (2018 and 2019).
An Ad Age Leading National Advertiser must own more than 50 percent of a product or unit for that product or unit's ad spending to be consolidated with the company in this report.
Ad Age treats joint ventures with 50/50 ownership as stand-alone ventures unless otherwise noted.
Ad Age Datacenter determined the 200 biggest U.S. brands—the nation's 200 most-advertised brands—by aggregating measured-media spending for all products or services that fell under that brand. For example, Ad Age combined Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft and Miller High Life under the Miller brand.
Ad Age aggregated Kantar category classifications as follows (not comprehensively):
- Apparel: ready-to-wear, underclothing and hosiery, jewelry, accessories, footwear.
- Direct-response advertising: direct-response advertising in all classifications.
- Food, beverages and candy: beverages, confectionery and snacks, dairy, produce, meat and bakery goods, prepared foods, ingredients, mixes and seasonings.
- Home furnishings, appliances and electronics: household furnishings and accessories, building materials, equipment and fixtures, appliances, electronics.
- Medicines and remedies: pharmaceutical firms, medicines and proprietary remedies, fitness, eyeglasses, medical equipment.
- Movies, recorded video and music: DVDs.
- Retail: discount department and variety stores, department stores, retail, shopping centers and catalog showrooms.