The Ad Market

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Asset sales by AOL Time Warner and Vivendi Universal are hogging the spotlight, but executives say merger and acquisition activity will perk up this year among all media sectors. Seventy percent of media and financial executives polled think there is pent-up demand for media deals and 95% say activity in 2003 will stay the same or increase in 2003, compared to 82% of those polled in 2002.

AdMarket 50

Rally runs out of steam: A lower-than-expected interest-rate cut and another drop in consumer confidence gave investors pause as they braced for the start of second-quarter earnings reporting season. Good news of rising consumer spending-the growth engine of the last two years-was not enough to perk up the markets. For the week, 11 AdMarket stocks were up, 38 were down and AOL Time Warner was unchanged.

Cordiant Communications Group was dropped from the index after the stock's American Depositary Receipt shares were delisted by the New York Stock Exchange June 25. Cordiant's stock is now traded in the over-the-counter market, where it closed the week at $0.28, down 3.45%. Other agency and media stocks were largely down, as well, in spite of upgraded spending forecasts.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended June 27, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices June 20.

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