01 August 1999

INTERNATIONAL BRANDING consultancy Interbrand has published the findings of its new survey, The $1bn Brands. This attempts to quantify the asset value of household names, ranking the top sixty global brands by their estimated worth. Unsurprisingly, US brands occupy all top ten slots, Coca-Cola leading the field with a brand value of almost £52 billion. The nine runners-up (in value order) are Microsoft, IBM, General Electric, Ford, Disney, Intel, McDonald’s, AT&T and Marlboro. The first non-US company in the list, Finnish telecoms titan Nokia, comes in at number 11. Three UK brands also feature, albeit way down: BP, at 45th place with a value of just under £1.87bn, Shell in 49th place at £1.7bn, and whisky brand Johnnie Walker at num-ber 55, valued at £1bn. Despite its claim to be ‘The World’s Favourite Airline’, British Airways fails to make it into the survey at all - excluded because Interbrand considers it does not operate in a free market, citing the airline’s dominance of landing and take-off slots at Heathrow and ‘regulatory preference’. J Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer are also excluded as ‘too dominant in one market.’ [Interbrand’s methodology, described as ‘complex’, was not stated - thereby draping a flashing neon question mark over the study’s validity].