The Ad Market

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Employment in the advertising industry grew again in November 2003 to 431,800, up 0.5% from October's totals, but it's still 1.7% below the year-ago period. While agency layoffs appear to be on the decline, total employment in the industry-including advertising, public relations, media buying and direct marketing-is down 72,200 jobs from the peak of 504,000 reached in November 2000.

AdMarket 50

Stocks on a streak: The markets continued gaining for the sixth straight week, their best positive stretch in two years. A surge in the bellwether University of Michigan consumer confidence index and a strong earnings report from NBC parent General Electric Co. reinforced investors' confidence late in the week. For the week, 31 AdMarket stocks were up and 19 were down.

Investors continued to gravitate to media and agency stocks, especially those whose prices were beaten down by the ad recession, but Viacom and Clear Channel Communications were hurt by skepticism about radio's growth prospects. Agency stocks got a strong boost from a bullish forecast by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Jan. 16, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Jan. 9. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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