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The Financial Times has recently published a special report under the title “Old-Timers and High-Tech Prosper”, displaying and analysing the results of the BrandZ index drawn up by Millward Brown consulting firm, and reflecting on the various aspects of the major brands included in this index on a global scale.

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Movistar, Santander, BBVA and Zara are rightly among the 100 most valuable brands in the world, according to the BrandZ ranking issued by the consulting firm Millward Brown. The ranking is led by four technology brands (Google, IBM, Apple and Microsoft), followed closely by Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Marlboro and China Mobile. The 100 most valuable brands in 2009 were valued at 2.04 billion dollars (1.54 billion euros). Google leads the BrandZ ranking for the fourth consecutive year as the world’s most valuable brand, worth $114,000 million dollars (86,250 million euros) in 2009, some 14% higher than the previous year.

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The Spanish Trade Information magazine (ICE) has echoed the research promoted by the Leading Brands of Spain Forum in an article by professors Julio Cerviño and Jaime Rivera. It was published in the November and December 2007 edition and is dedicated to the internationalisation of the Spanish company. The recent expansion of Spanish multinationals is analysed in the article and its effect on a better brand positioning and the boost of our country image.

On 7 May, Severiano Ballesteros, one of the most acclaimed and successful Spanish sportspersons of all times, died in the Cantabrian town of Pedreña. A golfing icon and model of success and self-improvement for millions of athletes around the world, Ballesteros was appointed in 2005 by the Leading Brands of Spain Forum as a Spain Brand Honorary Ambassador “for his contribution to strengthening the image of Spain, for being one of the greatest Spanish sportsmen of all time and for enjoying widespread international projection and global recognition”.

Spain and its brands are becoming increasingly better known and appreciated by Chinese consumers. These are the findings of a survey conducted by the Leading Brands of Spain Association (AMRE) among the visitors at the Showroom/store for Spanish brands in the Spanish Pavilion at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo. Over 40% of the respondents highlighted the quality of the Spanish products, while 30% pointed to their design as being their main attraction. Furthermore, over 70% of the visitors associated Spain with the idea of a friendly, exotic and romantic country. In fact, although 96% stated that they had never been to Spain, more than 80% would like to do so in the not too distant future.

The Royal Elcano Institute has published a working paper by Javier Noya, Beatriz Rodríguez and Antonía María Ruiz Jiménez, entitled The Image of Spain in the United States. The paper discusses the average US citizen‘s image of Spain.

Two Spanish brands belonging to the Leading Brands of Spain Forum, Zara and Santander, figure in the ranks of the 100 most valuable brands according to a report published by the consulting firm Interbrand. Thus, this year the Best Global Brands 2010, a ranking system published by Interbrand each year, includes 2 Spanish firms for the first time in the top 100 global brands. The entry of Santander in the list, at Number 68, is one of the strongest, above Barclays and Credit Suisse, considering furthermore the overall drop experienced by companies in the financial services sector on this list. With a value of 4,846 million dollars, Santander becomes the second Spanish brand to enter these ranks. For its part, Zara has maintained its presence ever since it entered back in 2005.

In an act that took place at the Municipal Conference Centre in Madrid on 19 June, chaired by T. R. H. the Prince and Princess of Asturias, Leche Pascual, Mapfre and BBVA, companies belonging to the Leading Brands of Spain Association, were awarded Prince Felipe Awards for Business Excellence in the respective categories of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency, Internationalisation and Leading Brand.

The Spanish Tourism Institute has presented its new campaign to promote Spain abroad, highlighting the need to promote the country’s image in order to attract international tourism. The Spanish Secretary of State for Tourism, Joan Mesquida, revealed the main lines of the new campaign, which will run under the slogan ‘I need Spain’.

An OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) analysis of Spain’s business transformation over the past decade highlights the vitality of Spanish multinationals, which, in recent years, have undertaken “a spectacular internationalisation process”. Signed by Javier Santiso, Deputy Director and Chief Development Economist of the OECD Development Centre, the study particularly commends the work of companies such as Inditex, Santander, BBVA, Telefónica, Ferrovial and Sacyr Vallehermoso, which have helped make Spain a “symbol of economic modernity”.

OHIM, the European Union Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trademarks and Designs) will lower the cost for European trademark registration applications to 900 euros for those submitted online as of 1 May. The reduced rate, 40% lower than presently charged, will reduce the cost of obtaining trademark protection throughout the EU territory to an all time low. It is the second time the rate for this procedure has been cut in five years.

The Royal Elcano Institute has recently published a working paper prepared by the researcher William Chislett entitled Image and Reality: Contemporary Spain, that discusses different aspects of how Span is perceived around the world and how to differentiate this perception from the reality of the country.

This week, the international branding consultancy Interbrand published its Best Global Brands 2008 ranking, which for some years now been produced in collaboration with the magazine Business Week. Coca Cola is listed as the world´s most valuable brand for the eighth consecutive year. Zara is still the only brand Spanish included; this year it has crept up two positions (from 62 to 64), increasing its brand value by 15%.

In the first week of January, in a special report in Actualidad Económica, the international branding consultancy, Interbrand, published the list of Spanish brands with the greatest financial value in 2007. Movistar topped the list with a brand value of 12.2 billion euros. Among the ten most valuable Spanish brands, nine are linked to the Leading Brands of Spain Forum. Other members of the Forum also occupy important rankings in the list drawn up by Interbrand.

The panel of judges for the Third Election of Honorary Ambassadors of the Spain Brand, which met on 1 October at the González Byass wine cellars in Jerez de la Frontera, decided to make a special exception by granting the posthumous title of Honorary Ambassador of the Spain Brand to the recently-deceased member of the Board of Directors of the Leading Brands of Spain Association, Enric Puig, for his important and decisive work for the Spanish brands and the Leading Brands of Spain Forum.