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Ad Hawk

The 20 biggest advertisers for the first half of 2002.<br><br> Sometimes advertising spending isn’t rewarded with editorial coverage, as last week’s list illustrated. (See "Editors’ Choice," Sept. 12, page 10.) Only Prada, Christian...

The 20 biggest advertisers for the first half of 2002.

Sometimes advertising spending isn’t rewarded with editorial coverage, as last week’s list illustrated. (See “Editors’ Choice,” Sept. 12, page 10.) Only Prada, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton were among editors’ favorite brands. No matter, brands such as Nike and Levi’s spend heavily to communicate to consumers directly through advertising. But times are tough in ad land. The top 20 advertisers slashed their budgets, spending only $423.3 million during the first half of 2002, compared with $774.1 million for the same period in 2001.

1

Nike Inc.

2002: $112.6 million; 2001: $117.6 million

Nike touted products for professional athletes to power-walking housewives. Maybe its slogan should be “Just Buy It.”

2

Levi Strauss & Co.

2002: $38.4 million; 2001: $42.9 million Levi’s aimed Super Lows at Gen X and Y’ers. For their parents, who actually remember wearing the iconic brand, there’s Red Tabs.

3

Adidas-Salomon AG

2002: $34.6 million; 2001: $49.7 million. Adidas fought the battle for market share on the front lines — World Cup soccer fields, Olympic ski slopes, NBA and WNBA courts, and trampolines.

4

Sara Lee Corp.

2002: $31.5 million; 2001: $63.9 million. Sara Lee’s relentless ad spending has made Hanes and Playtex two of the most recognized brands in the world. Now it’s working on Bali and Wonderbra.

5

Reebok International Corp.

2002: $30.1 million; 2001: $35.4 million. A surgically enhanced Los Angeles aerobics addict and rabid sports fan are featured in Reebok’s wide-ranging Classic ad campaign.

6

De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd.

2002: $25.7 million; 2001: $24 million.

De Beer’s generic “A Diamond is Forever” campaign turned it into a recognizable jewelry brand before it had any jewelry to sell.

This story first appeared in the September 19, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

7

Schering-Plough Corp.

2002: $23.4 million; 2001: $152.7 million. A burnished Bain de Soleil model is still a mainstay of the brand’s advertising.

8

Gap Inc.

2002: $14.1 million; 2001: $85.1 million

Gap’s previous ads alienated various consumer sectors. Its new all-inclusive tag line is, “For Every Generation. Gap.” But, the firm’s financial woes continue.

9

Cotton Inc.

2002: $12.5 million; 2001: $9.2 million

Cotton Inc.’s ad campaign features girl and boy dolls wearing everything from suits to blue jeans, staring blankly from newspaper pages.

10

Guess Inc.

2002: $12.3 million; 2001: $7.9 million. While the cast of characters is ever-changing, the idea of using sex to sell jeans is a constant in the parlance of creative director Paul Marciano.

11

Skechers USA Inc.

2002: $11.5 million; 2001: $19.9 million.

Skechers ads depict young adults having good, clean fun.

12

Giorgio Armani SpA

2002: $10.6 million; 2001: $11.9 million.

In a post-9/11 world, where consumers want quality and durability, Armani gives clothing and accessories a starring role.

13

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.

2002: $9.4 million; 2001: $42.5 million. Ralph’s previous campaigns depicted the good life through rose-colored glasses. Some offbeat styling gives the latest ads a bit more edge.

14

Rolex Watch Co. SA

2002: $9.3 million; 2001: $7.2 million. Rolex is synonymous with luxury, and the company aims to keep it that way with ads that put the product front and center.

15

Tommy Hilfiger Corp.

2002: $9.1 million; 2001: $12.4 million. Hilfiger’s ads are like modern Norman Rockwell portraits: fresh-faced, pristine models, engaged in good, wholesome fun.

16

Jones Apparel Group Inc.

2002: $8.8 million; 2001: $9.9 million. Jones New York and Lauren by Ralph Lauren are two of the group’s brands. The former is the subject of a new ad campaign.

17

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA

2002: $8 million; 2002: $44 million.

In spring, Christian Dior ads featured soap suds-covered models wearing a look of ecstasy. For fall, the girls have graduated to the stage of a futuristic rock concert.

18

Richemont AG

2002: $7.6 million; 2001: $14 million. In lieu of black-and-white newspaper ads, Cartier is going for the bold with color.

19

PRADA GROUP

2002: $7.5 million; 2001: $13.8 million. Prada’s ads, which were straightforward for spring, have a cinematic quality for fall. The group also advertises for subsidiary Jil Sander, among others.

20

Alfred Angelo Inc.

2002: $6.2 million; 2001: $8.5 million. The 70-year-old company, which makes wedding gowns for budget-minded brides, is a perennial advertiser in bridal publications.

SOURCE: CMR, A TAYLOR NELSON SOFRES COMPANY