Independent brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance has revealed the impact of the economic downturn on the 100 leading global brands.

The company has released this information in its report on the 500 most valuable global brands.

The world economy has been hit by commodity price rises, the credit crunch, job losses and tumbling share prices, all stemming from a number of political and financial reasons.

Brand Finances study found that enterprise value of the 100 most valuable global branded businesses has decreased by 13.3 percent, a drop of US$1.6 trillion, and the brand value of those businesses has decreased by 4.2 percent, a drop of US$67 billion, between January and September 2008.

Vodafone entered the top 10 as the leading telecommunications brand (with a brand value of US$26.7 billion) closely followed by Nokia (US$26.6 billion).

Of Australia’s 50 most valuable brand portfolios, NAB topped the list with a brand value of AUS$6.4 billion.

Tim Heberden, managing director of Brand Finance Australia says, “There is clear evidence that (globally) basic, value for money brands like WalMart, AT&T, Exxon and McDonalds are performing very strongly, particularly when they invest consistently in advertising and marketing.”

“By contrast, unnecessary or discretionary brands like Starbucks, Nike, Coca Cola and L’Oreal are declining in value as consumers watch their finances more carefully.”

Despite the big brands losing overall value, projected online advertising market revenues in Australia are forecast to increase by 24 percent year-on-year in 2008, growing from $387 million to $481.4 million.

“The online general advertising market continues to enjoy solid growth and is not only well-placed to weather the current slowdown in overall media budgets but is set to benefit from its increasing cost-effectiveness in tight economic conditions,” says Darryl Nelson, Frost & Sullivan senior research manager in digital media.

The market leader for online general advertising revenue in Australia continues to be Ninemsn, which captured 21 percent of its market share in the 2008 financial year.