After shrinking for six straight quarters, newspaper advertising spending was back to positive growth in the third quarter. But classified advertising-the second-largest category in newspapers-remains slow, due mainly to weak recruitment advertising. For the first nine months of the year, spending on auto classified grew 5.3%, real estate grew 3.4%, but recruitment dropped 27.2%.
Optimism helps: The broad markets rose for the seventh week in a row, in spite of a mild selloff on Nov. 22. Investors were encouraged by an improving economic outlook, but remained cautious about corporate earnings. For the week, 32 AdMarket stocks were up and 18 were down.
Agency and media stocks remain mixed, but several agency stocks gained, thanks to upbeat forecasts for 2002 spending and encouraging spending totals for September. (See CMR third quarter figures, P. 10.) Interpublic Group of Cos. gained, in spite of news of a Securities and Exchange Commission review of its earnings restatement. The stock rose after investors were assured that the restatement is complete, though analysts were skeptical. (See story, P. 4.)
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Nov. 22, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are versus Nov. 15 closing prices.