Advertising: The Way For Some to Go

Like law firms or other businesses that have confidential relationships with clients, nearly all U.S. advertising agencies are privately owned. Last year Manhattan's frisky Papert, Koenig, Lois created a sensation on Madison Avenue by going public. The sale of shares made near-millionaires out of the agency's three young founders, and stock that came out at $6 a share is now up around $10. Last week Foote, Cone & Belding—the nation's seventh biggest ad agency, with billings of $135 million—put some shares on the market. It looked as if public is the way to go.

The boss of Foote, Cone—Fairfax Mastick...

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