The Ad Market

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Turn Signals

Media spending continued to recover in January, but February totals will face a tough comparison to last year's Olympic period and March will likely see the effect of the start of the Iraq war. Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR has calculated TV media lost $77 million in advertising during the first week of the war, but recovered during the second week. AdAge.com QwikFIND ID: aao59w

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Markets get cheerful: Healthy corporate earnings reports did what war and its winding down could not-give the stock market a solid boost. More than halfway through the earnings-report season, investors were relieved by a series of strong quarterly reports and brighter forecasts for the second half. For the week, 38 AdMarket stocks were up and 12 were down.

The healthier outlook was good news for agency and media companies, even as newspaper companies forecast the war in Iraq will continue to affect ad plans in the second quarter. (See story, top right.) At opposite ends of the AdMarket, Catalina Marketing Corp. dropped after it warned the next quarter will fall short of forecasts due to weak pharmaceutical ad spending, while Primedia surged after CEO Thomas Rogers stepped down. Investors sold off Coca-Cola Co. partly on fears that anti-American feeling will hurt sales abroad, and bought Ford Motor Co. after it posted a strong first quarter.

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