The Ad Market

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After a two-month pickup, ad agency employment dropped again in August, down 0.4% from July. September will likely see the effects of 700 job cuts underway at Interpublic Group of Cos. and Publicis Groupe's acquisition of Bcom3 Group, which will include some consolidation (see story, P. 3).

AdMarket 50

Stocks get a break: The securities markets showed another week of improvement, thanks to positive third-quarter results from the likes of Sprint Corp., IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. News of a possible credit downgrade of Sears, Roebuck & Co. and an earnings warning at Coca-Cola Co. didn't weigh the market down too much. For the week, 40 AdMarket stocks were up and 10 were down.

Media stocks showed a strong week as newspaper companies reported improved earnings (See The Week, P. 12). AOL Time Warner got a boost from the release of AOL 8.0, and Vivendi Universal took additional steps to get its financial house in order. Agency stocks were pushed in two separate directions: Down by new troubles at Interpublic Group of Cos. and up by Publicis Groupe's announcement of plans to integrate its Bcom3 Group acquisition,

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Oct. 18 based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Oct. 11.

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