CHICAGO: Adland bible Advertising Age on Monday published its twentieth annual review of global marketing expenditure, revealing that in 2005 Procter & Gamble again led the pack with monitored media spend of $8.19 billion (€6.39bn; £4.33bn) - nearly double that of nearest rival Unilever.

To qualify for the global Top 100, a company must have ad spending presence on at least three continents. In total, the planet's top one hundred marketing plutocrats wrote checks to an aggregated value of $98.27bn.

P&G's spending, boosted by the acquisition of Gillette, grew by just 2.6% compared with 2004 when it recorded a 17.6% increase. Unilever, on the other hand, upped its 2005 spend by 21.9% to overtake former runner-up General Motors.

In terms of total expenditure the elite one hundred spent just 4.5% more than in 2004 - which recorded a growth rate of 17.6%. However, the spend figures are maxima, in that they exclude discounts. The data is garnered from media-tracking services across eighty-four nations.

AdAge comments that the slowdown in growth was "inevitable" in that 2005 lacked the big events that boost adspend, such as the Olympics, a European soccer championship and a major US election. All were present in 2004.

The 53-page Global Marketers Report also provides a comprehensive data overview of marketing outside the US. The complete report can be viewed and downloaded by clicking here.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff