ECONOMY DOMINATES AAAA CONVERSATION

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Few Agency Execs See Second-Half Recovery

April 19, 2001

NAPLES, Fla. (AdAge.com) -- The softness in the U.S. economy and the advertising business dominated conversations outside of formal conference sessions during the AAAA annual gathering.

O. Burtch Drake, AAAA's president-CEO, touched only briefly on the topic, however, near the end of his opening

remarks, and with an optimistic twist.

Drake: 'Pretty good year'
"From the many conversations and visits I've had recently with members, I've learned that many of you are actually having a pretty good year on top of what was a really outstanding year in 2000," he said.

But many of the attending agency executives said that despite stronger than expected first-quarter results, they are now feeling financial pressure. Several also said that they remain concerned for the rest of the year, throwing cold water on hopes for a second-half turnaround.

-- Laura Petrecca, Laura Hughes and Scott Donaton

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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