Top marketers spend $74 billion

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The world's Top 100 global marketers "weathered" slow growth and uncertain global economic and political conditions in 2002 by stimulating their global media spending by 7.1% to $74.2 billion, reversing a decline of 2.6% charted by the group in 2001, according to Advertising Age's 17th annual Global Marketing report.

Procter & Gamble Co. once again paced the megaspenders at $4.48 billion in media, up 21.9%. Acquisition-minded P&G boosted its volume with the inclusion of Wella A.G., Darmstadt, Germany, purchased by P&G this September and included in its media totals on a pro forma basis. This is P&G's sixth beauty-care brand to generate $1 billion in annual sales and its 14th global brand at such a level.

Unilever unseated General Motors Corp. as the No. 2 global marketer, at $3.32 billion, up 19.2%, to GM's $3.22 billion, up 9%. The Anglo-Dutch combine had 14 brands that each generated sales of 1 billion euros in 2002, a year that saw the euro rise to the level of the U.S. dollar by yearend. No other marketers reached $3 billion in media spending. Twenty-two were above $1 billion.

The U.S. media component of this report hit $37.31 billion, up 7%, or 50.2% of the Top 100 total. U.S. marketers claim 49 of the Top 100 spots, although Tokyo is the lead headquarters city with 10 versus eight for New York. Europe amassed media of $23.06 billion from the Top 100, up 12.2%, followed by Asia at $9.87 billion, up 0.5%. The Top 100's category media stimulants were personal care, up 17.3%, telecommunications, 10.6%, and media/entertainment, 9.2%.

To be "global," a marketer must advertise in three of four regions-North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. This eliminated 30 regional-only marketers (19 in the U.S.) whose media volumes were higher than No. 100 Intel Corp. at $191 million.

Unilever spending came from 72 of the 78 countries from which Ad Age obtained media, the most of any marketer. That globalism is further illustrated in a companion study (see Top 25 global accounts chart below) that illustrates the account play by the world's 23 major multinational agency networks in 61 countries plus eight sub-regions. Much of Unilever's growth in markets came from full-integration of its Bestfoods acquisition into the agency networks, and rapid global growth of Slim-Fast, Axe and Dove brands.

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