Global spending at Top 100: $94 billion

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The world's media markets are getting hotter, setting the stage for the Top 100 global marketers to crack the $100 billion level this year.

The Top 100, an elite group of marketers that drive just over a quarter of the world's total media and that spend those dollars on three continents or more, notched $93.94 billion in worldwide media in 2004, according to Advertising Age's 19th annual Global Marketing report.

That tally represented growth of 12.1%, highest vista for the top marketers since their 2.6% decline in trough year 2001.

Procter & Gamble Co. roared to a worldwide media total of $7.92 billion in '04, up 17.6%, more than doubling the expenditures of the group's runner-up General Motors Corp. at $3.92 billion. GM in the process switched places with No. 3 Unilever at $3.46 billion, up 2%. The list stretches to No. 100, Tokyo-based Shiseido Co. at $257 million.

P&G's acquisition of Gillette just completed last month gave the personal-care marketer five more brands that draw more than $1 billion-plus in global sales. P&G already had 17 brands of such magnitude, including Wella, which was acquired in 2003. P&G spending ranked No. 1 in 24 of the 77 countries surveyed, with 43% of its media tally spent in the U.S., 31% in Europe and 20% in Asia-Pacific. (See methodology and PDF reviewing the top 10 marketers by media spending for each of the 77 countries and the 493 global accounts of 23 agency networks in 53 countries and eight sub-regions at QwikFIND aar11d).

The Top 100 needs only 6.5% growth in media this year to reach the century mark. The forces are with them. Revenue growth at WPP Group, Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe-among them owners of six of the world's top 10 media specialist companies-is up a combined 7.3% through three quarters. U.S. business is cooking: Corporate profits through first-half 2005 have risen 31.5% after posting a 6.8% gain for 2004, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The U.S. is the geographic volume leader of the Top 100 with 48.8% of its spending. Their U.S. media grew 9% to $45.87 billion, as Europe collected 32.6% of group spending, Asia-Pacific, 14%, and Latin America, Canada, Africa and the Middle East, a combined 18.6%.

The Top 100's electronics, pharmaceuticals, cleaners, automotive and personal care categories each hit double-digit growth in media in '04. Autos, up 12.8% in media, accounted for nearly a quarter of the Top 100's global media dollars. Personal care, up 12.7% in spending, claimed almost one-fifth of the group's media.

China notched the biggest spending gain of any contributing country, up 84.7% among all marketers. China is the reason Asia-Pacific's media volume will eclipse Europe's in 10 years, predicts ZenithOptimedia, noting China next year will pass France, currently the world's fifth-largest media market. Additionally, as markets in Russia, India and Eastern Europe continue to mature, and the Internet grabs new media expenditures-it represented 5.2% of U.S. media at year-end 2004 and reached almost 6% through August 2005-global media are poised for strong gains in the near-term at least.

The marketers who ultimately became the Top 100 were collated from media lists from the 77 countries. Media totals per country were by gross ad rates. AA adjusted each market's gross media expenditures to reflect that market's global media volume ranking from ZenithOptimedia.

A Top 100 marketer had to have media spending on at least three continents to qualify as global. Twenty-two marketers had spending above the eventual No. 100 Shiseido, but lacked the global requirement.

Because Ad Age treats exchange rates on an historic basis, exchange rate mechanics drove up spending outside the U.S. due to the declining dollar. The rising dollar this year will likely free the Top 100 next year from growth "manufactured" by exchange rate differentials. Growth instead will rely more on increased business from the better international business climate. As it should be.

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