DETROIT: US ad trade bible Advertising Age this week published its 21st annual Global Marketers report, a magisterial work chronicling the ad expenditure of the planet's top one hundred marketers and covering ninety countries.

No prize for guessing who heads the list of centurions. For the sixth year in succession it is topped by Procter & Gamble - at $8.52 billion (€5.74bn; £4.14bn) a swingeing 87.7% ahead of second-placed Unilever with $4.54bn.

But despite outspending the global pack, adspend growth at the Cincinnati colossus was meager - just 1.1% more than the previous year, compared with 5.1% in 2005 and 12.1% in 2004.

Sorrowful statistics, maybe, for P&G's agencies and media channels. But a trend that also suggests the firm is getting more bang for its advertising bucks.

In terms of expenditure growth, P&G was outstripped both by Anglo-Dutch Unilever (8.1%) and fourth-ranked French cosmetics titan L'Oréal (12.7%).

Worldwide growth was retarded by cutbacks in the USA where the domestic top 100 spenders fell 2.2%. Notable misers were General Motors (-17.4% globally) and Johnson & Johnson (13.2%).

Nonetheless, fifty-seven percent of the US centurions - primarily food, drug, electronics and retail marketers - spent more than in 05. The soft drinks, financial services and alcoholic beverages sectors cut marketing spend.

To view the full AdAge report click here.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff