Online branding magazine Brand Channel says search giant Google was the most influential brand this year. The top five also includes Apple, YouTube, WikiPedia and Al Jazeera.
The annual survey by online branding magazine brandchannel.com often throws up controversial results, such as in 2004, when Arabic TV station Al Jazeera was named the world's fifth most influential brand.
This year the 3,625 branding professionals and students who voted have again surprised, awarding upstart firms star status when asked: "Which brand had the most impact on our lives in 2006?".
Google, the Internet search engine that has expanded regionally and moved into online advertising, mail and blogging, seized the top spot for the second consecutive year, ahead of Apple Inc, which again comes in second place.