AdWatch

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TURN SIGNALS

U.S. ad spending is enjoying good gains (see story to right), but job recovery remains weak. On the plus side, employment has begun to recover in every agency and media sector except newspapers, where job cuts continue. Ad spending began to rebound in May 2002, and most sectors have seen single-digit percent job gains from the recession nadir. But most sectors still face double-digit percent job declines vs. Dec. 2000, the peak of the last advertising boom.

ADMARKET 50

Down time: Stocks slumped last week on rising oil prices and interest rates. For the week, just seven AdMarket stocks rose; 43 fell.

Interpublic sunk 4.7% as bad news (10-K delay, restatements) drowned out good news (winning Intel). (AdAge.com broke GM's review news after the market closed March 7.) Interpublic has a new top shareholder: French financial firm AXA disclosed it owns 10% of shares-most held by AXA's Alliance Capital Management, "acquired solely for investment purposes" for client accounts. Interpublic chief Michael Roth knows AXA; it last July bought MONY Group, where he was CEO. AXA affiliates have owned some Interpublic stock since at least 1996.

Google this week joins the AdMarket, replacing Grey Global. Google gets about 98% of revenue-or $3.1 billion last year-from advertising, ranking it in the top 20 U.S. media companies. Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended March 11 with stock data from Bloomberg. All comparisons vs. closing prices March 4. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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