Marketer Family Trees 2010


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  • 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/3555 Farnam Street, Ste. 1440, Omaha, Neb. 68131/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).

      Buffett in October 2010 hired Todd Combs, a little-known hedge fund manager from Connecticut, to help run the company's investment portfolio, making Combs the leading candidate to succeed Buffett as the firm's chief investment officer at whatever point Buffett steps down. At the time of Combs' hiring, Combs was age 39 and Buffett was age 80.

      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). BNSF 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.

    Abbott Laboratories

    Allstate Corp.

    American Express Co.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev

    Apollo Group (University of Phoenix)




    Bank of America Corp.


    Best Buy Co.

    Boehringer Ingelheim

    Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

    Burger King Holdings

    Campbell Soup Co.

    Capital One Financial Corp.

    Chrysler Group


    Clorox Co.

    Coca-Cola Co.

    Colgate-Palmolive Co.

    Comcast Corp.

    ConAgra Foods



    Deutsche Telekom



    Dish Network Corp.

    Doctor's Associates (Subway)

    Dr Pepper Snapple Group


    Eli Lilly & Co.

    Estée Lauder Cos.

    Ford Motor Co.

    Fortune Brands

    Fry's Electronics

    Gap Inc.

    General Electric Co.

    General Mills

    General Motors Co.


    Hershey Co.

    Hewlett-Packard Co.

    Home Depot

    Honda Motor Co.

    Hyundai Motor Co.

    IBM Corp.

    J.C. Penney Co.

    Johnson & Johnson

    JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    Kellogg Co.

    Kohl's Corp.

    Kraft Foods

    Kroger Co.


    Limited Brands

    Lowe's Cos.

    LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton


    Mars Inc.



    McDonald's Corp.

    Merck & Co.

    Microsoft Corp.


    News Corp.


    Nissan Motor Co.




    Procter & Gamble Co.

    Progressive Corp.

    Qwest Communications International

    Reckitt Benckiser

    SABMiller (MillerCoors)



    SC Johnson

    Sears Holdings Corp.

    Sony Corp.

    Sprint Nextel Corp.

    State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co.

    Target Corp.

    Time Warner

    Toyota Motor Corp.

    U.S. Government


    Verizon Communications




    Walmart Stores

    Walt Disney Co.

    Wells Fargo & Co.

    Wendy's/Arby's Group

    Yum Brands

    Advertising Age's DataCenter updated Marketer Trees 2010 in November and December 2010 as an online database application detailing ad spending, brands, agency assignments and executives for the nation's top 100 advertisers.

    Collection of data on brands, agency assignments and executives was coordinated by Research Editor Keri Lynch.

    To find rankings of marketers by medium, selected market share data and other industry analysis, see the 100 Leading National Advertisers 2010 report. For more on how this list was compiled, see Methodology.

    For more information on agencies, see Agency Report 2010. and Agency Family Trees 2010.

    Send your ideas to improve the Marketer Trees. Update us on agency assignments and executives. Report database errors. E-mail:

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