The most spectacular dives occurred in the Net ad sector. Interactive agency stocks such as L90, Rare Medium and Xceed dropped more than 30%. Digitas closed at $12 -- half its March initial public offering price. Organic, backed by Omnicom Group, and Luminant Worldwide Corp., backed by Young & Rubicam, hit new lows.
Among major Web ad services companies, Engage Technologies fell 19% and now is 77% off its peak, while DoubleClick dipped 4%.
Hardest hit among traditional agency groups were U.K.-based Cordiant Communications and WPP Group. Cordiant dropped 16% to close at $22, while WPP lost 12% of its value, closing at $68.94.
WPP shares may also be experiencing aftershock from speculation about its ongoing negotiations to acquire Young & Rubicam. Those talks may have helped Y&R, which ended the week down just 7% at $38.50.
Other tumbles were taken by: Interpublic Group of Cos., down 6% to $40.94; Omnicom Group, down 7% to $82.12; True North Communications, down 6% to $36.12; and Saatchi & Saatchi, down 10% to $23.25.