Having successfully ingested America's BCom3, Maurice Levy, chairman/ceo of the planet's fourth largest agency holding business, Paris-headquartered Publicis Groupe, is again in shopping mode.

Nothing too large or expensive, you understand: just a few marketing services bargains to boost the group's customer-relationship management muscle. "Maybe," posited Levy, public relations in the USA; perhaps CMR and sales promotion in Europe. And while the corporate checkbook is at the ready, any snips in Latin America and Asia-Pacific might prove useful for a rainy day.

During his interview with the Wall Street Journal, Levy also went through the now obligatory clairvoyance routine. There would be industry-wide growth in European adspend through 2004, he predicted, bringing the continent into kilter with the US in terms of growth.

Scandinavia remains weak but the UK and Spain are faring better. Germany, at the same time Europe's largest economy and its Achilles heel in advertising terms, "is clearly stabilizing," Levy judged.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff