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Turnsignals, which opened as "Earth's Biggest Bookstore" in July 1995, spent heavily on advertising in early years, and it made money on shipping through 1999. Amazon this decade cut ad spending and made free shipping a cornerstone of its marketing strategy. Beginning in 2003, net shipping expense (shipping revenue minus shipping costs) exceeded ad spending.

AdMarket 50

Focus on: Marriott International (mar)

Marriott, the world's largest hotel chain, is a microcosm of what has happened in the hotel industry. In the last year, the company's stock has risen more than $20 as the industry makes a strong recovery from the aftermath of 9/11. Aside from the Marriott brand, its Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Courtyard and Fairfield Inn brands have all shown solid growth. The company announced it plans to increase market share by adding about 80,000 rooms worldwide in the next three years.

Source: Bloomberg, company reports, Ad Age analysis

Last Week's Score

Not a good week for the AdMarket 50. Five media companies had modest increases, but for the week nine stocks were up and 41 down.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 tracks 50 top marketer, media and agency companies. Bloomberg symbol: BAAX

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