Yesterday, Advertising Age announced it’s Marketer A-list, including it’s Marketer of the Year-Coca-Cola (still going strong after all these years)-and other smart, innovative brands like L’Oreal, Starbucks, Amazon, IBM, and, newcomers, the Kardashian “Klan.” I must give props to Ad Age for so boldly calling attention to the bits of brilliance that comprise the Kardashians’ branded empire. Sure they are annoying but part of that aggravation comes from their ubiquitous nature. Going to the mall? You’ll find the Kardashians “Klan” at Sears, selling their own shiny, slinky brand of club and professional couture. Looking for a new fragrance? Kim K.’s got you covered. And you can’t turn on E! without running into at least one of the families’ members or spouse spin-offs spring, summer, fall, or winter. Rounding out the empire is the Kardashian stamped facial care line PerfectSkin, the weight-loss supplement Quicktrim, and the sisters’ original claim to fame, their brick-and-mortar clothing boutiques, Dash.

Thankfully, Ad Age tempers its praise by turning a critical eye on the brand, citing the all-too-realness of the Kardashians’ reality shows as a danger to their brand. Recent press surrounding the potential “fake” wedding vows between Kim K. and NBA husband Kris Humphries could damage a brand that hinges heavily on creating a lust worthy lifestyle and reputation. According to Kris Jenner, keeper of the family brand, this is a smart move in itself. Momma Kris thinks that people love the transparency of the Kardashian Klan and long to see them grow. Showing the growth cycle means looking at the family as a whole-the good, the bad, and the ugly. Whatever the formula, the Kardashian brand seems to work despite the family’s general lack of talent, unless you consider their talent an unequivocal knack for being famous.

Don’t let the Kardashians spot on the Marketer A-List dissuade you from checking out the rest of the line-up. There’s some great ideas percolating about extending brands beyond coffee, beyond culture, and bringing it all back to the human. To review the rest of Ad Age’s Marketer A-Listers click here.

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