DOWN AGAIN: After a two-month uptick in June and July, U.S. ad agency employment dropped again in September, falling 0.6% from August after dropping 0.4% in August from July. Agency employment has fallen to early 1999 levels. With most agency companies showing slow or no revenue growth, jobs are expected to continue to be hard to come by in late 2002 and early 2003.
October rally fizzles: Investors seesawed last week, buoyed at midweek that the Republicans' victory and Federal Reserve's rate cut will boost the shaky economy, but worried late week over possible war with Iraq and more weak earnings. The AdMarket was nearly as split as Congress: Twenty-five stocks were up and 25 were down.
The media and agency sectors gained as companies including News Corp. and Univision reported positive third-quarter results (see story, this page), and Primedia got a boost from its sale of American Baby (see The Week). Among marketers, tech stocks took a hit from a glum forecast by Cisco Systems; Sears, Roebuck & Co. was hurt by a credit downgrade; and fast-food companies dropped as Yum Brands and Wendy's International posted weak October sales and McDonald's Corp. announced restaurant closings and earnings warnings.
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Nov. 8 based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Nov. 1.