Account activity continues to grow, and this time it appears there are new accounts in the mix. Fifty accounts worth $930 million were awarded in May, up from 30 accounts worth $600 million a year ago. May marked the eighth month in a row of year-over-year increases. And net new business was up to $417 million-from a measly $72 million in April-among the large holding companies. New business could be making a comeback. Top winner in May: Omnicom Group.
WHAT RECOVERY? Escalating Mideast violence, continued concerns about corporate profits and fear of slumping second-quarter growth all took their toll on the market. The recovery could be going in reverse: More analysts warned that second-quarter gross domestic product growth will be weaker than the first quarter. For the week, 17 AdMarket stocks were up, 32 were down; Cordiant Communications Group was unchanged.
Newspaper companies managed to hold their ground after executives made mildly optimistic second-half predictions at an investors conference. Magazine publisher Primedia, which hit an all-time low of $1 per share a week earlier, recovered some ground after it announced management changes. Only three agencies rose: Digitas, Havas and Publicis Groupe, which received key approvals for its acquisition of Bcom3 Group. (See The Week, P. 10.) Meanwhile, Omnicom Group halted its free-fall; the stock was down 3.65% after two weeks of double-digit declines.
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketers, agency and media companies for the week ended June 21 based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are based on closing prices June 14.