Building the power grid

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The Power Players profiled in this Special Report have key roles in the marketing strategies of some of the leading advertisers as identified in the 49th annual 100 Leading National Advertisers Special Report (AA, June 28). The marketers range from Procter & Gamble Co., No. 2 on the 2004 LNA list, to Nike, which held the No. 59 slot.

Power Players gives Advertising Age the opportunity to focus on the people behind the ad budgets-executives whose influence on their companies and even their industries extends beyond which commercial is placed on which TV show. In effect, the Power Players franchise puts a human face on the immense media budgets of the leading advertisers in the U.S.

The executives featured in Power Players are chosen and ranked by Ad Age editors and beat reporters based on several criteria, starting with how much ad spending these executives have at their disposal. In some cases where the Power Player oversees spending for a specific unit of a company, the Ad Age DataCenter refined the LNA numbers to break out 2003 ad spending for that specific unit. For example, General Motors Corp. tops this year's LNA list with $3.4 billion in U.S. ad spending for 2003. But Power Player Kim Kosak gets credit only for the $995 million used by Chevrolet.

Each Power Player was scored based on how much ad spending they have at their disposal (50% of the score), their marketing successes (30%) and leadership ability (20%). Also influencing the Power Player's score was a company's ability to leverage the media buying power of a corporate parent; other marketing spending such as sponsorships, distribution, merchandising and product innovation; and the marketer's overall impact in setting trends and innovating within its category.

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