The Ad Market

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Turn Signals

Advertising spending in 2003 will meet or beat the record numbers of 2000, according to a revised forecast by Robert J. Coen, senior VP and director of forecasting at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann. Mr. Coen revised his 2003 forecast to 4.6% growth from 5% after a pause caused by the Iraq war, but noted Olympics and the presidential elections will spur advertising in 2004. Worldwide spending will grow 5.6% to $495.9 billion in 2004, with U.S. spending up 6.5% and overseas spending up 4.5%.

AdMarket 50

After a strong start to the week's trading, stocks stalled in mid-week due to lukewarm economic news, but crept up again late in the week, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index continuing to push at the 1,000 barrier. Markets got a boost from a planned rebalancing of S&P indices and a "quadruple-witching"-the simultaneous expiration of four kinds of indices and options-both of which forced many investors into buying mode. For the week, 23 AdMarket stocks were up, 21 were down and Cordiant Communications Group was unchanged, as investors waited out the result of WPP Group's bid (See stories, p. 4).

Agencies were mixed, after Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann unveiled a lower tally for the first half but an optimistic outlook for the second half (See Turn Signals). New York Times Co. dropped, after it warned the second quarter will come in below expectations.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended June 20, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices June 13.

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