The world advertising market will stabilize in the first half of the year ahead, achieving one percent growth in revenues, predicted Publicis Groupe chairman/ceo Maurice Levy at a Paris media conference Wednesday.

But even this cautious forecast was tempered with a proviso – that war against Iraq would hang a large question mark over the global recovery process.

Unlike certain other high profile agency holding company bosses, Levy has largely refrained from adspend clairvoyance on the grounds of fuzzy market visibility, instead preferring to promise investors an increase in profit margins in the wake of last year’s takeover by Publicis of Bcom3.

He told the Paris convocation that Publicis’ operating margin for 2002 will likely meet his earlier forecast of 14.1%, while that for 2003 is expected to hit 15%.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff