What's new: After a bad streak of new business in 2001, agencies saw no improvement in 2002, especially in the area of "new" new business-billings from newly created accounts. Auto companies led with the new money, mainly to support new incentives campaigns, while financial services got a boost from consulting companies rebranding themselves. But consumer goods and retail/restaurants, two big sectors that normally would lead a recovery, were down. In the end, there was less new money for agencies to bank in 2002.
War worries go on: President Bush's State of the Union address did little to calm investors' war jitters, and another shot of bad economic news didn't help. Gross domestic product figures showed economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter-a bad sign for the recovery-and unemployment numbers rose. In a bad sign for consumer spending, the consumer confidence index dropped for the fourth month in a row. For the week, 20 AdMarket stocks were up, 29 were down and Johnson & Johnson was unchanged.
In spite of AOL Time Warner's record loss (see story, top right), media companies performed relatively well, thanks to positive earnings from New York Times Co., Tribune Co. and Walt Disney Co. Among marketers, Coca-Cola Co. dropped after it announced a restructuring in North America; American Express Co. rose on improved earnings. Cordiant Communications Group closed just a nickel above its all-time low.