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Turn Signals

NEW BUSINESS AS USUAL: Omnicom Group, with a big boost from BBDO's $200 million Mitsubishi creative win, resumed the top spot for February in new-business tracking by William Blair & Co.'s Troy Mastin. Interpublic Group of Cos., with Deutsch's Mitsubishi loss, was worst performer for the month. Year-to-date, Publicis Groupe was on top. From 2002 (when the ad recovery began) through February 2005, the top two scores for net new business went to Omnicom and WPP Group, the largest and second-largest holding companies. Publicis, the fourth-largest holding company, came in a distant third over that long haul for its new-business haul. Interpublic, the third-largest firm, had a net loss in new-business billings since 2002, a period that coincided with its accounting woes, restructurings and financial losses. New-business shifts:

Admarket 50

HALF EMPTY: Twenty-five AdMarket 50 stocks rose last week and 25 fell. By week's end, the index was down fractionally. Stocks slumped on April Fool's Day as investors weighed a downbeat government employment report. Yahoo gained 9% for the week, taking the top spot, though it's still down year to date. Wal-Mart Stores was the worst performer, ended the week at a 52-week low.

AdMarket stocks dropped 3.1% in the first quarter, giving back last fall's gains. The quarter saw 17 winners and 33 losers, with new entry Sears Holdings-the merged Kmart and Sears Roebuck-leading the way with a 35% gain. Struggling General Motors fell 27% in the quarter, taking the bottom line of the AdMarket list.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended April 1 based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices March 25. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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