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Google is the most valuable brand in the world for the second year, with a brand value of $86.1bn

London, UK, 21st April 2008 — Today Millward Brown, a global leader in brand, media and communications research, announced its third annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Powerful Brands ranking. Vodafone was listed as the most powerful British brand with a value of $36,962 million. Since the last ranking Vodafone showed a +75% increase in brand value and moved up the ranking 11 places. Google tops the global list again with a brand value of $86.1bn followed by GE at $71.4bn and Microsoft at $70.8bn.

Although only six British brands meet the criteria of being a Top 100 global power brand, their combined value did better than average by rising 33% (from $97,725 billion in 2006 to $127,220 billion in 2007) compared to a rise of 21% for the Top 100 as a whole.

The 2008 ranking is based on analysis of consumer opinion and publicly available financial data for the period January to December 2007.

Other British brands in the ranking were:

Brand--Value in $millions--Global Rank
1. Vodafone--36,962--11th
2. Tesco--23,208--25th
3. HSBC--18,479--35th
4. Marks & Spencer--11,600--60th
5. Barclays--7,382--93rd
6. Standard Chartered Bank--6,855--100th
7. BP--6,346--n/a
8. Royal Bank of Scotland--5,782--n/a
9. Asda--5,628--n/a
10. NatWest--4,978--n/a

The ranking reflects the growing power of brands in driving business growth. Analysis shows that companies that own brands in the BrandZ Top 100 have significantly outperformed the stock market when compared to the S&P 500.

“This year’s brand ranking demonstrates the importance of investing in brands, especially in times of market turmoil. Strong brands generate superior returns and protect businesses from risk,” said Joanna Seddon, CEO of Millward Brown Optimor. “Our data shows that strong brands continue to outperform weak ones in terms of market share and share price during recessions.”

Warwick Nash, CEO, UK and Ireland at Millward Brown adds: “The results this year highlight the strength of those British brands that have global clout and are leveraging their brands to help aid their growth. But this Ranking is a wake-up call for companies to invest in the power of their brands if they want to grow their business or sustain it in tougher times.”

Brand--Value--in $millions
1. Google--86,057
2. GE--71,379
3. Microsoft--70,887
4. Coca-Cola--58,208
5. China Mobile--57,225
6. IBM--55,335
7. Apple--55,206
8. McDonalds--49,499
9. Nokia--43,975
10. Marlboro--37,324

The most notable global trends emerging from this year's BrandZ ranking include:

1. Established Asia vs Emerging Asia — Chinese brands continue to get stronger according to the new BrandZ Ranking. Seven brands in this year’s Top 100 come from mature Asian economies: Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. Their aggregate brand value increased by only 7% in the last year (to $111bn). In contrast, the value of the four Chinese brands that made this year’s BrandZ Top 100 increased by 51% (to $124bn). China Mobile, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and ICBC are only just starting to expand beyond China so they have considerable potential for further growth.

2. Continued Rise of the BRICs — Emerging markets play a key role in driving growth for international brands, for example Apple and Gucci. The new BrandZ Ranking shows that domestic brands from emerging economies are gaining momentum. Chinese brands performed strongly and Russian-based mobile operator MTS entered the ranking at number 89. MTS is the first Russian brand to make the Top 100 list with a brand value of $8.1bn. Other BRIC brands to watch in future brand rankings include Lukoil, Beeline, and Baltika from Russia, ICICI from India, as well as Brahma, Petrobras, and Bradesco from Brazil.

3. Technology Boom — The technology sector (including mobile operators), which accounted for 28 of the top 100 brands, outperformed all other categories in this year’s BrandZ Ranking, with a brand value growth of $187.5bn. This is more than half of the Top 100’s total increase and is up 34 percent on value since last year’s ranking.

Commenting on this year's BrandZ Ranking, Eileen Campbell, Global CEO of Millward Brown said: “"We've been tracking brand equity on WPP's behalf for 10 years, so we know what hard work it is and what a fantastic achievement it is for any brand to achieve BrandZ Top 100 status. We'd like to congratulate these companies for their extraordinary performance and commitment to the power of great brands and the role that effective marketing plays in building them. Particularly in a challenging global economy, we were delighted to see such high growth, reconfirming our assertion that sustained marketing support is a winning strategy, even in tough business conditions."

The complete BrandZ Ranking report with category and regional breakdowns as well as additional analysis is available online at www.millwardbrown.com/mboptimor, www.brandz.com and at www.ft.com

Millward Brown provides research and insight that helps companies maximising marketing spend in a recession.

Note to editors:

About the BrandZ Ranking

Developed for WPP’s operating companies by Millward Brown Optimor, the BrandZ Ranking of the world’s Top 100 Most Powerful Brands is based on data from the BrandZ database. The BrandZ study, conducted annually by Millward Brown, measures the brand equity of 50,000 global “consumer facing” brands, and has interviewed over 1 million consumers globally. Consumer perception of a brand is a key input in determining brand value because brands are a combination of business performance, product delivery, clarity of positioning, and leadership. In addition to utilizing BrandZ data, the Top 100 ranking assesses Brand Value (using market and consumer research, in combination with financial data from Bloomberg and Datamonitor, to calculate and break-down intangible earnings), Brand Contribution (the brand’s effectiveness in driving business earnings), and Brand Momentum (an index of expected short-term brand growth). The ranking takes into account regional variations since even for truly global brands measures of brand contribution might differ substantially across countries.

About Millward Brown

Millward Brown (www.millwardbrown.com) is one of the world's leading research agencies and is expert in effective advertising, marketing communications, media and brand equity research. Through the use of an integrated suite of validated research solutions — both qualitative and quantitative — Millward Brown helps clients build strong brands and services. Millward Brown has more than 70 offices in 44 countries. Additional practices include Millward Brown's Global Media Practice (media effectiveness unit), Millward Brown Optimor (focused on helping clients maximize the returns on their brand and marketing investments), Millward Brown Precis (PR measurement practice), Dynamic Logic (the world leader in digital marketing effectiveness), and BMRB (public sector, media and market research). Millward Brown is part of Kantar, WPP's insight, information and consultancy group.

For a copy of the full ranking or more detailed explanation about brands in the ranking please contact:

Teresa Horscroft
UK PR Consultant for Millward Brown
Tel: +44 (0)1420 564346
Mob: +44 (0)7990 520390
Email: teresa@eurekacomms.co.uk







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