The Ad Market

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Advertising spending continued to recover in October, with the exception of business-to-business publishing media, which continue to struggle. CableTV continued to gain share and newspapers benefited from an easy comparison to the weak numbers they posted in 2002, while spot TV and radio were hurt by the absence of political advertising, which had helped boost their numbers in the fall of 2002.

AdMarket 50

Laboring market: News that the economy added just 1,000 jobs in December sent stocks skidding Jan. 9 from 52-week highs set the day before. The AdMarket 50, Standard & Poor's 500 and broader Wilshire 5000 all are up slightly for the first week in January. For the week, 31 AdMarket stocks rose and 18 fell; Marriott International didn't change.

Agency shares led the way, paced by interactive shop Digitas, one of the hottest AdMarket stocks of 2003. Interpublic Group of Cos., announcing a buyer for its money-losing race tracks, reached the highest level since its fall from grace in 2002. WPP Group also gained as the market set aside concerns about indictments of two former Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide executives (see P. 1).

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Jan. 9 based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Jan. 2. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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