General Motors Still Top Dog Among US Advertisers

30 June 2004

America's top one hundred advertisers, as ranked by Advertising Age, between them averaged 9% adspend growth in 2003.

In the magazine's Leading National Advertisers annual report published Tuesday, General Motors again repelled all boarders to retain its crown as number one US advertiser, despite slipping 1.4% from the previous year's outlay to $3.43 billion (€2.83bn; £1.90bn).

Breathing down the car giant's neck in second position is Procter & Gamble, up 24.3% to $3.32bn. At its present rate of growth, AdAge predicts the Cincinnati colossus will overtake GM this year to regain its former title as US kingpin.

At the other end of the scale, Japanese photographic and reprographic manufacturer Canon edged into the rich list with an annual spend of $317.2m.

The elite century includes thirty-three companies spending more than one billion dollars each which -- as an interesting indicator of the adspend recovery -- compares with only 25 such spenders in 2002.

Four key advertising categories drove the surge ...

    Pharmaceuticals: $12.13bn (+ 14.3%)
    Entertainment/Media: $10.9bn (+11.1%)
    Personal care: $8.09 billion (+9%)
    Telecommunications: $7.6bn (+15.3%).

Conversely, among the ten automakers in the top hundred (the largest of all ad categories at $13.78bn) adspend growth reached a comparatively meager 5.4%.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff