The Ad Market

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After a slowdown in 2002, merger-and-acquisition activity among advertising and marketing services agencies is expected to perk up this year, as the industry recovers from the advertising recession. In a recent poll, 24% of executives said they expect M&A activity to be lower this year and 30% expect it to be higher. Here's what companies said they're doing compared with last year.

AdMarket 50

Rally fizzles: The stock markets started the week on a good run, fueled by investors waiting for another interest rate cut and buoyed by optimistic earnings forecasts. But stocks slumped late in the week, after the bellwether University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index posted an unexpected drop in June and weak wholesale prices raised more worries about deflation. Despite crossing the 1000 threshold during the week, the Standard & Poor's 500 index ended the week flat. For the week, 24 AdMarket stocks were up and 26 were down.

Procter & Gamble Co.'s increased marketing impetus helped the stock of its agency, Grey Global Group, but investors continue to sell off stock of troubled Cordiant Communications Group. Walt Disney Co. also fell after Bank of America removed the stock from its recommended list.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended June 13, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices June 6.

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