Apple has won more praise, this time from marketing title Advertising Age, which has named the company as one of the top 'Big Brand Success Stories' of 2003.

iPod and iTunes Music Store are the main thrusts of Apple's success this year, Advertising Age says: "Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs this year becomes the first person to be named to Advertising Age's list of leading brands three times." Jobs has appeared in the top 100 twice this year.

"Not bad for a guy who never had a traditional marketing career," the piece reports. Jobs wins plaudits for seizing the opportunity to set the standard for online music sales and Apple's successful iPod marketing.

Jobs has been congratulated by AdAge before: In 1999 for his colourful iMacs; again in 2000 for the iBooks.

"Once again, Mr. Jobs is at the forefront of innovation," the report states.

Praise also goes to the marketing campaigns for a diverse range of personalities, brands and products: from Beckham to Nigella Lawson; from Capital One to Phat Farm; and from PlayStation 2 to Pirates of the Caribbean.