Marketer Family Trees 2010

2009 U.S. ad spending and rank. Click plus signs to explore database. Click each division name to see brands, agencies and people.

Berkshire Hathaway

U.S. advertising spending $1,153.6 million

  • U.S. AD SPENDING ($ in thousands)
    By media20092008% chg
    Sunday magazine42112,142-96.5
    B-to-B magazine3,6995,253-29.6
    Local magazine192233-17.4
    Spanish-language magazine3431,395-75.4
    National newspaper8,7908,3525.2
    Spanish-language newspaper44100-55.5
    Network TV131,80094,58639.3
    Spot TV88,905130,471-31.9
    Syndicated TV52,98248,8548.5
    Cable TV networks225,084209,4117.5
    Spanish-language network TV4,09010,913-62.5
    Network radio21,64113,00066.5
    National spot radio41,03465,977-37.8
    Local radio46,14456,892-18.9
    Internet (display only)12,46514,906-16.4
      Measured media807,512837,275-3.6
      Unmeasured spending346,077348,812-0.8
    Media spending by megabrand20092008% chg
    Dairy Queen65,01167,557-3.8
    Fruit of the Loom26,86742,695-37.1
    Benjamin Moore12,66310,98715.2
    SALES & EARNINGS ($ in millions)
    Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B)
    Worldwide20092008% chg
    Geographic sales20092008% chg
    Division sales20092008% chg
    McLane Co.31,20729,8524.5
    Insurance Group31,10730,2842.7
    Other businesses21,38025,666-16.7
    Finance & Financial products4,5874,947-7.3
    Shaw Industries4,0115,052-20.6

    Sources: Measured media from Kantar Media. Unmeasured spending estimates from Ad Age DataCenter. Sales and earnings from public documents. See methodology.

    Berkshire Hathaway/1440 Kiewit Plaza, Omaha, Neb. 68154/Phone: (402) 346-1400.


    Fast facts
    Berkshire Hathaway is a conglomerate assembled by renowned investor Warren Buffett.

    Berkshire's biggest sources of revenue in 2009 were insurance (led by Geico) and McLane Co., a grocery and food-service distribution company.

    Consumer-brand businesses include Shaw Industries (carpet); Benjamin Moore (paint); H.H. Brown Shoe Group, Fruit of the Loom, Russell, Vanity Fair, Garan and Justin Brands (apparel); Ben Bridge Jeweler, Borsheims, Helzberg Diamond Shops, Jordan’s Furniture, Nebraska Furniture Mart, See's, Star Furniture and R.C. Willey (retail); and International Dairy Queen (fast food).

    Berkshire in November 2009 agreed to buy Burlington Northern Sante Fe Corp., a railroad based in Fort Worth, Texas, in a deal valued at $44 billion (including $10 billion of the railroad's outstanding debt). This was Berkshire's largest-ever acquisition. The deal closed on Feb. 12, 2010. Berkshire said in its 10-K for the year ended December 2009: "Berkshire’s operating businesses are managed on an unusually decentralized basis. There are essentially no centralized or integrated business functions (such as sales, marketing, purchasing, legal or human resources) and there is minimal involvement by Berkshire’s corporate headquarters in the day-to-day business activities of the operating businesses. Berkshire’s corporate office management participates in and is ultimately responsible for significant capital allocation decisions, investment activities and the selection of the chief executive to head each of the operating businesses."

    Berkshire in March 2008 paid $4.5 billion for a 60% interest in the Pritzker family's Marmon Holdings, an industrial group that operated 130 manufacturing and service businesses across 11 diverse business sectors. Berkshire raised its stake in second-quarter 2008 to 63.6%. Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Berkshire will buy the remaining minority interests in Marmon between 2011 and 2014 for a price to be based on earnings of Marmon.

    Mars, the candy and food company, in October 2008 bought Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., the gum marketer, for $23 billion. Mars received financial backing from Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire's investment consisted of $4.4 billion of subordinated Wrigley notes due in 2018 and $2.1 billion of preferred Wrigley stock. (Berkshire also owns chocolate retailer and direct-marketer See's.)

    Amid the fall 2008 global financial crisis, Berkshire made a $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs Group on Oct. 1, 2008, and a $3 billion investment in General Electric Co. on Oct. 16, 2008.

    Berkshire in April 2007 bought VF Corp.'s women's intimate apparel (Vanity Fair, Lily of France, Vassarette, Bestform, Curvation and licensed Ilusion brands) for $350 million cash.

    In August 2006, Berkshire bought Russell Corp., a marketer of athletic apparel and sporting goods, for about $600 million.

    The company in February 2006 bought Business Wire, a distributor of press releases and regulatory filings.

    In August 2005, Berkshire bought Forest River, a manufacturer of recreational vehicles and trailers. One of Forest River's motor home models pays homage to the owner; it's called the Berkshire.

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Coca-Cola Co.

Colgate-Palmolive Co.

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IBM Corp.

J.C. Penney Co.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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