THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Most influential international media brands

1. Financial Times

Still a must-read for anyone who wants to be taken seriously in the industry, the pink paper underwent a massive redesign this year. FT Deutschland is also flourishing: How To Spend It is being published six times in 2004 instead of the current four. The FT also launched a dedicated Asian edition in October to rival The Wall Street Journal Asia and also started printing an international edition in South Africa.

2. The Economist

The Economist's distinctive red-on-white advertising continues to provide witty inspiration to creative departments across the globe. The magazine itself is also thriving, boasting an international circulation of 902,107. The Economist's circulation accounts for 84 per cent of the magazine's sales (755,353). In Asia this year, The Economist broke through the 100,000 circulation barrier for the first time.

3. Squawk Box

Fancy clapping bleary eyes on Sir Martin Sorrell at 6am in the morning? Then tune into Squawk Box, CNBC Europe's flagship show between 6am and 9am every weekday. Sorrell and other industry heavyweights such as Saatchi & Saatchi's Kevin Roberts are regulars on the show. Some 5.25 million viewers tune in, including Grey's Carolyn Carter, which gives an idea of the calibre of viewer.

4. CNN

Continues to be a favourite among the industry's jetsetters; there's something reassuring about switching on to CNN when you're staying in your third anonymous hotel in a week. Its reach is phenomenal: CNN, including all its brand extensions, now reaches one billion households worldwide.

5. Time

Time's tradition of featuring a diverse range of cover stars has never been so pronounced as it was in 2003. It boasted an impressive collection from Bono to Blair, Cash to Chirac, all of whom resonated with its 5.3 million strong circulation worldwide. It also launched a new section, Global Adviser, to appeal to the new global mobile elite, perfect for the industry's professional nomads.

6. Fortune

The Fortune 500 celebrates its 50th birthday next year and, according to the magazine, has a brand presence that is almost bigger than the title itself. Present in 120 markets and with a worldwide circulation of 1,120,000, it's a must-read for new-business directors the world over looking to glean in-depth information on their agency's clients.

7. Google

What's the first thing you do when unfamiliar names drift on to your radar? Whether it's a blind date or a new-business proposition, your first instinct is to Google them. The benchmark when it comes to search engines, Google is now preparing for its initial public offering, for which it was valued at $15 billion.

8. MTV

Seventy-six per cent of MTV's audience falls into the 16-34 age group. So what about the remaining 24 per cent? The lion's share must be creatives trying to soak up a bit of inspiration for that brief targeting 16- to 34-year-olds.

9. Maxim

For the discerning ad or media man, Maxim is a must-read. Huge in the US, it now produces a music spin-off title, Blender, which is giving Rolling Stone a run for its money. It's also a big seller in Germany and relaunched in Italy earlier this year, with the supermodel Naomi Campbell sporting a tight, rainbow-hued "Peace" T-shirt on the cover.

10. Glamour

Glamour is for the industry's time-pressed women who like no-nonsense fashion advice and a magazine that's not the size of the Yellow Pages. It now comes top of the substantial pile of women's titles in the UK, Germany, Spain and Poland.


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