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Slowing down: Measured U.S. ad spending rose a meager 2.3% in February, a sharp comedown from January's 7.2% gain and the 9.8% increase seen for calendar 2004. Seven of 16 media types dropped; eight rose. Broadcast TV networks were flat, a troubling sign for the nets as the upfront market approaches. Star performer? Cable TV, up a sizzling 24.1%.

Dollars in billions Figures exclude outdoor, reported quarterly. Hispanic print, covering a limited number of markets, reflects a small representation of market's size. Percent change is computed from the same period a year earlier.

Admarket 50

OIL'S WELL: The AdMarket 50 and the broader market surged at week's end on plunging oil prices and news that Microsoft expects to beat sales estimates. For the week, 20 AdMarket stocks were up and 30 declined.

Two ad holding company stocks were among the losers. Publicis Groupe saw its stock fall following a rumor that its Renault account is in jeopardy. WPP Group lost ground despite surging first-quarter revenue. Both, however, were outpaced by Ford Motor Co., whose woes continued with news that it and the similarly beleaguered General Motors Co. were lapped by Japanese rivals in April sales.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended April 29, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices April 22. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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