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Turn Signals

Slower Net: Measured U.S. ad spending rose 7.2% in January. That was a solid gain, though below the 9.8% increase for calendar 2004. Biggest surprise: The surging Internet ad market slowed, showing just 8% growth vs. a 21.4% gain for calendar 2004. Cable TV grew faster than network TV in January, taking share away from broadcast. Print spending figures rose, but newspapers continued to lag the overall ad market.

Admarket 50

TAXING WEEK: The AdMarket 50 slipped slightly in the run-up to Tax Day, but outperformed a broader market that saw serious slippage as the week wore on. Still, the market's ills did not spare AdMarket's 50 companies, of which only nine notched positive showings while forty posted declines. (Catalina Marketing ended the week dead-even). Big Pharma stocks were the big winners, with Wyeth and Pfizer topping the gainers. PepsiCo posted the third-best performance, making the top three slots a clean sweep for Big Marketers .

On the down side, Detroit's woes battered its Big Three's stocks and left GM and Ford grappling for the booby prize-Ford won it. IBM joined Ford and GM in posting a double-digit decline; Dow Jones & Co., now entering its fifth year of struggling with sluggish ad results, narrowly missed joining them.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ending April 15 based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices on April 8. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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