Advertising continues to show improvement in 2003, with mixed results. TV continues to get a larger share of new ad dollars while radio-the first media to show improvement in early 2002-suffers from more difficult comparisons. National newspapers suffered from a slowdown in travel advertising. Consumer magazines continue to show slow progress and b-to-b magazines were down again in April.
Reports of increased durable goods orders and the deaths of Saddam Hussein's sons at the hands of U.S. soldiers helped the market out of a losing streak to close up for the week. Durable-goods figures-a bellwether for the manufacturing sector-sparked hopes of an economic recovery and the news from Iraq encouraged investors hopeful for a resolution to the conflict. The late-week buying surge helped the stock markets snap a three-day slump. For the week, 29 AdMarket stocks were up, 20 were down and Microsoft Corp. was unchanged.
AOL Time Warner dropped, in spite of posting a positive quarter, as the company also reported subscriber losses and more regulatory headaches (see story, right). But the improved economic outlook benefited most media and agency companies, including WPP Group, which survived a challenge to its plan to acquire Cordiant Communications Group. (See World, P. 19)
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended July 25, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Ju1y 18. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.