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The 100 Leading National Advertisers are selected from the 230 largest advertisers based on measured U.S. ad spending in calendar 1996. Companies spending at least $34.7 million in measured media make up the 230; that group is pared to 100 after estimated unmeasured expenditures are added.

Measured media advertising refers to ad expenditures in national consumer media monitored by Competitive Media Reporting, a unit of VNU. Yellow Pages data were supplied by the Yellow Pages Publishers Association.

Media breakouts labeled "U.S. AD SPENDING" at the beginning of each company profile (beginning on Page S-42) are from CMR.

Top advertisers in each of 13 measured media are ranked in tables throughout this report.

Measured media

Newspaper: CMR measures ad space in 127 newspapers in 50 of the nation's top markets. National newspapers refers to The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Magazines and Sunday magazines: PIB/CMR Magazines measures paid advertising in 221 consumer magazines and four Sunday magazines.

Outdoor: CMR Outdoor data include revenues in more than 200 plant operator markets.

Network TV: CMR's MediaWatch monitors every broadcast minute on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, WB and UPN TV networks.

Spot TV: CMR's MediaWatch daily monitors spot TV on major stations in 75 top markets.

Syndicated TV: CMR's syndicated TV tallies are based on program rates supplied by advertisers and agencies for satellite-distributed syndicated TV.

Cable TV networks: CMR's MediaWatch continuously monitors 25 cable networks: A&E, BET, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNBC, Comedy Central, Country Music TV, Discovery, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Family Channel, fX, Headline News, The Learning Channel, Lifetime, MTV, Sci-Fi, TNN, Nickelodeon, TBS, TNT, USA Network, VH1 and The Weather Channel.

Network radio: CMR MediaWatch monitors 13 radio networks broadcast by three companies.

Spot radio: CMR*National Spot Radio gathers data from 3,800 stations in 225 markets. Dollar figures are based on reporting from national station reps.

Unmeasured spending

Unmeasured ad figures are Ad Age estimates and include direct mail, promotion, co-op, couponing, catalogs, business and farm publications and special events, to name a few. Corporate annual reports, 10-K forms, corporate sources and AA reporters help compute this number. Unmeasured estimates do not include non-U.S. ad spending.

Brand spending

Media spending by top brands presented in tabular form at the top of each profile (beginning on Page S-42) includes only CMR. To be listed, brands must have spending greater than $10 million in calendar 1996.

Top 100 Megabrands

This year, Ad Age presents a new look at our Top 100 megabrands, beginning on Page S-34.

Since 1990, Ad Age has ranked the leading megabrands based on 11-media totals from Competitive Media Reporting. CMR brand data are highly detailed. As an example, spending monitored for Chevrolet is by individual models (Lumina, S10 pickup) and for Kellogg is by separate foods (Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Kellogg's Pop Tarts.)

These "mini" brands are combined by Ad Age editors to create megabrands, i.e. Chevrolet cars & trucks and Kellogg breakfast foods.

The AT&T megabrand incorporates multiple CMR listings for AT&T that include consumer, business, corporate image and Internet advertising.

Top marketing execs and lead agencies are included in the tables.

Corporate sales and earnings

Corporate financial results of the 100 Leaders are for the latest available fiscal year. Returns from privately held companies were estimated when possible. Worldwide headquarters are listed for readers' convenience.

Market share

In category stories preceding the company profiles, tables ranking brands by share of market list sources in footnotes.

Data from Information Resources Inc. are either based on retail sales from supermarkets with annual revenues greater than $2 million or three-outlet figures (supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers).

Data in the tables are for calendars 1996 and 1995, respectively, unless otherwise noted.

Staff for this report:

Dara Alpert, Kevin Brown, Larry Edwards, R. Craig Endicott, Steve Fischer, Kevin Richards, Mike Ryan, Geoffrey Shives, Susen Taras, Chris van Buskirk and Sharon

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