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Survey reveals 43 billion-dollar brands

LONDON - Coca-Cola and Marlboro are the world's biggest brands and feature among only 43 billion-dollar consumer product brands which can be considered "truly global", according to a survey by market research giant ACNielsen.

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The survey found Coca-Cola (combining Coca-Cola and diet Coke) and Marlboro (regular and Lights), both have sales of more than $15bn (£10.3bn) annually.

Pepsi is the third-largest brand in the world, with combined sales of Pepsi and Diet Pepsi falling into the $5bn-$15bn (£3.4bn-£10.3bn) annual retail sales bracket.

ACNielsen researched more than 200 brands in 30 countries, representing 90% of the world's gross domestic product, for the survey. Those that made the list had cumulative sales of over $1bn (£688m) for the 12 months ending the first quarter of 2001. They also had to have a presence in the four geographic regions covered by the survey -- Latin American, Asia Pacific, North America and Europe -- with at least 5% of sales generated from outside the brand's home market.

"Although more than half had a global presence, they just didn't have over $1bn in sales," Jane Perrin, managing director of global services for ACNielsen, said. "Over the next few years, we expect this picture will change dramatically."

Brands that have sales of over $3bn (£2.1bn) include beer brand Budweiser; Campbell's, the tinned soup brand immortalised by Andy Warhol; Kellogg's cereal brands; and Pampers.

Two tobacco brands have sales between $2bn-$3bn (£1.4bn-£2.1bn) -- Camel and Benson & Hedges.

Beverages proved to be the category that travels best internationally, with 13 drinks brands making the list. This includes three beer brands -- Budweiser, Heineken and Guinness.


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