Media spending bounced back in the second half of 2002, helped by strong sales in the TV upfront markets, heavy political spending and auto and telecom companies' heavy promotional spending.
ONE FINE DAY: News of diplomatic progress and unconfirmed reports of secret Iraqi surrender talks caused a one-day rally late in the week. The news trumped reports of weak February retail sales and rising unemployment as investors rushed to pick up battered shares, especially in technology. The rally-the biggest in five months-helped the overall market squeeze out a gain for the week. Fifteen AdMarket stocks were down and 34 were up; Primedia was unchanged.
Publicis Groupe advanced after it posted gains due to its acquisition of Bcom3 Group (see story at right). Other agency stocks were mixed, with Interpublic Group of Cos. gaining after announcing a debt refinancing (see P. 10) and Omnicom Group losing after a debt downgrade. Media companies also rose after newspaper companies reported rising February ad lineage, while auto stocks lost ground after Ford Motor Co. announced cuts in production.