Good news for Madison Ave: WPP will only be slightly down

March 6, 2009

Slightly down is the new up.

At least judging from the reception that advertising giant WPP received today after it predicted like-for-like revenue would drop 2 percent this year.

Shares were up about 5 percent after the report from WPP, the last of the big three advertising holdings to post quarterly results. For all the worry about the advertising recession — and no doubt advertising is bad right now — WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic also showed some bright spots in their numbers.

WPP, in fact, said the in the “long-term” the outlook for the advertising and marketing services business “appears favorable.” “Long-term” isn’t a particularly well-defined timeframe, but nonetheless those are pretty upbeat comments coming from an industry that has seen auto, retail and financial services spending drop like a stone.

“The fact they’re saying revenues in 2009 will be down 2% is relatively reassuring given the current climate,” RBS analyst Justin Diddams told the Wall Street Journal.

Keep an eye on:

  • ABC is hoping the financial crisis makes for some good laughs, as it readies two Wall Street comedy pilots (
  • The Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper is pressing ahead with plans to turn into an online-only publication (
  • CNBC takes it on the chin — yet again (Gawker)

(Reuters photo of CEO Martin Sorrell)

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