New business activity remained slack in November, roughly on par with November 2001. Sixty-three accounts worth $1.8 billion changed agencies, compared to 69 accounts worth $1.7 billion a year ago and 59 worth $1 billion in October 2002. Among the holding companies, Omnicom Group is the leader for new business wins year-to date, with $1.1 billion in net new business for the first 11 months. WPP Group is next with $772 million, followed by Havas with $462 million and Interpublic Group of Cos. with $147 million.
Market malaise continues: Stocks suffered the effects of war uncertainty and weak corporate profit oulooks for yet another week. Only nine AdMarket stocks were up and 41 were down.
Many media shares were as mixed as forecasts were issued by companies during media investment conferences last week. (See stories, P. 4 and 22.) Dow Jones & Co. stock got a boost after management upgraded its fourth-quarter estimates and posted much smaller ad linage declines at The Wall Street Journal. But Dow Jones said the environment remains grim. Yahoo! rose after CEO Terry Semel reassured investors the company will meet its subscriber targets this year and will grow ad revenue in 2003. On the down side, a credit downgrade hit the stock of Interpublic Group of Cos., and investors sold off Viacom in spite of management's rosy outlook.
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Dec. 13 based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Dec. 6.