Google, Apple top 2005 poll of most influential brands

Google regained its title as the world's most influential brand in 2005, displacing Apple for the second time this decade, according to a Monday poll.

Google regained its title as the world's most influential brand in 2005, displacing Apple Computer for the second time this decade, according to a Monday poll.

Over the past five years, Apple has won the title twice, in 2001 and 2004, while Google has won the rest of the time. Google Earth, Google Mini, Desktop Search and its popular stock all helped Google win the award in 2005, according to Brandchannel.com, which conducted the survey.

"The quirky brand also treated us to Google Earth, arguably the greatest thing to hit the Internet since porn," wrote Robin Rusch, editor-in-chief of Brandchannel.com, announcing the results. "Those worried that the company might run out of ideas should visit Google Labs -- a welcome assurance that more delights are close on the horizon."

The popular VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) software from Skype Technologies broke into the list with a strong third place showing, outdistancing even its new parent company, eBay, which came in ninth.

Rounding out the top five most influential global brands last year were coffee house Starbucks in fourth and home furnishings retailer Ikea, of Inter Ikea Systems, in fifth place.

By region, Nokia took the top spot in Europe, while Sony won the Asia-Pacific region, and the popular beer Corona led all others in Latin America. Apple may not have won the global honor, but it did take first place in North America thanks to its popular iPod music players, according to Brandchannel.com.

Over 2,500 people from 99 countries voted in the Brandchannel poll, mostly from Europe and North America. It can be found at: http://www.brandchannel.com/start.asp?fa_id=298.

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