The Ad Market

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Account moves slowed in June after improving in May, following a seasonal pattern, but year-over-year numbers continue to show improvement. Forty-five accounts with estimated billings of $870 million were awarded, up from 15 accounts with billings of $400 million in June 2001. Most accounts moved among the large holding companies, continuing the consolidation trend. Billings are an indicator of companies' momentum in winning ad business; agencies' revenue off the accounts will depend on compensation agreements. Billings also become less relevant as the companies diversify into non-advertising services.

AdMarket 50

No end in sight: The markets rallied on Wednesday and tried again Thursday, but the bad news sank indices below post-Sept. 11 lows. Investors were briefly encouraged by some better-than-expected quarterly results announced early in the week, but they soon lost faith. A government investigation of Johnson & Johnson, glum forecasts from Sun Microsystems and Microsoft Corp. and news of a growing trade deficit nailed the coffin shut. Nine AdMarket stocks were up and 41 were down for the week. Only 11 AdMarket stocks trade above where they were at the end of 1998.

Agency and media companies were mixed; they took a hit after news of AOL Time Warner's reorganization but were helped by encouraging reports from newspaper companies. (See Earnings Analysis, this page.)

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketers, agency and media companies for the week ended July 19 based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are based on closing prices July 12.

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