The Ad Market

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Turn Signals

With U.S. ad agency employment at its lowest level in four years, it's no surprise that 59% of agency and marketing executives polled said they have put hiring on hold or decreased hiring activity since the recession started last year.

In an encouraging sign, more than two-thirds of those who froze or reduced hiring expect to resume hiring in 2002. But many are still uncertain when that will happen.

AdMarket 50

Stocks seesaw: The long march to recovery is still a tough road for stocks, and the start of the first-quarter earnings season brought no relief. After a bruising April 11, markets limped to a flat close for the week; 22 AdMarket stocks were up, 27 were down and Gannett Co. was unchanged.

Weak earnings and accounting worries continue to bedevil investors. Investors continued dumping AOL Time Warner based on a weak ad outlook for America Online; the stock bottomed April 11 at $19, its lowest point since 1998. Yahoo! also took a beating. Even after first-quarter results met expectations, it still posted a large loss, and executives noted advertising remains weak.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketers, agency and media companies for the week ended April 12, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are based on closing prices April 5.

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