Recovery: U.S. measured ad spending in June rose 3.7% vs. a year ago, marking the second consecutive monthly increase and the third up month this year. For the first half, ad spending declined 0.2%, better than the -0.4% first-half forecast of Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR (AA, July 1). The healthy June increase is notable given it was vs. a comparatively strong base; June 2001 was a bad month, but less bad than earlier months last year. CMR forecasts a 6.2% second-half gain for a 2.5% full-year increase.
More up than down: The August doldrums continued to treat stocks kindly. Despite erosion at the end of the week, both the AdMarket 50 and Dow held on to post small increases. For the week, 30 AdMarket stocks were up and 20 were down. The gainers were paced by Primedia, which jumped back above the dollar mark. Publicis Groupe notched a double-digit increase in the same week the Securities and Exchange Commission cleared the way for its acquisition of Bcom3 Group. On the media side, investors awarded AT&T Corp. more richly than AOL Time Warner for the news the media giant would unwind its Time Warner Entertainment venture with the telco. AT&T was up 16.9%, but AOL Time Warner eked out a 1.59% gain amid more questions about its financials. The big loser was Philip Morris Cos., stung by a smoker lawsuit and a negative report from Goldman Sachs.
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketers, agency and media companies for the week ended Aug. 23, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Aug. 16.