Leaked documents show biggest AdWords spenders

A leaked document has shown how much big brands are spending on Google AdWords – and Apple and its products are the biggest drivers.

The internal document, obtained by Advertising Age, shows AT&T as the biggest spender, at just over $8 million in June, the month during which the iPhone launched.

Apple itself is spending around $1 million a month.AT&T is followed by the Apollo Group, an educational firm behind the University of Phoenix, amongst others, and Expedia and Amazon,spending a shade under $6 million each.

BP showed the biggest jump in spending, demonstrating just how much it wanted to get its message across in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. Before the spill, the documents show it as spending about $57,000 a month – a figure which rocketed to nearly $3.6 million in June.

The company leapt into action to counter bad publicity by buying keywords such as ‘oil’ and ‘spill’, irritating the hell out of anyone who just wanted advice on cleaning up a carpet.

“We can’t comment on these figures because we haven’t seen the document in question or determined what these numbers represent,” Dennis Woodside, VP of Google Americas Operations, told Fortune.

“We’re now looking into the possibility that someone improperly disclosed confidential information about our clients, and will take all appropriate action.”

The payments are only triggered if the ad is actually clicked on, of course, which means these figures are a mark of success as well as ambition.

One interesting fact to emerge from the document, however, is how little the list is dominated by the bigger spenders. The top ten advertisers accounted for only five percent of Google’s total revenue, and 47 companies spent over $1 million.