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Pierre Metivier / Flickr cc

WPP, the world's biggest advertising agency and holding group, saw shares fall over 10% Wednesday morning after the group reported slowed growth in sales during its second quarter. The company also said that ad spend for the remainder of the year is expected to drop even further due to economic volatility affecting the advertising industry in key markets, like the U.K. and U.S. The company revised its second-half of the year sales forecast down further to 0-1% growth — its lowest point in nearly a decade.

Why it matters: WPP's estimates mainly reflect a slump in advertising for consumer goods, which the company says make up roughly 1/3 of its revenue. Some of the biggest consumer goods companies, like Procter and Gamble and Unilever, have been pulling back ad spend, particularly on digital, as a results of the overall economic volatility within the retail and packaged goods industries that are being upended by technology. In a separate interview Wednesday, WPP Chief Sir Martin Sorrell alluded to this, suggesting that tech giant Amazon was earning nearly twice what market estimates had projected on advertising this year.

Go deeper

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Education: More schools are reopening in the U.S.
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  6. World: Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines.
Dave Lawler, author of World
52 mins ago - World

Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines

Several countries in the Americas have received their first vaccine shipments over the past few weeks — not from the regional superpower or from Western pharmaceutical giants, but from China, Russia, and in some cases India.

Why it matters: North and South America have been battered by the pandemic and recorded several of the world’s highest death tolls. Few countries other than the U.S. have the capacity to manufacture vaccines at scale, and most lack the resources to buy their way to the front of the line for imports. That’s led to a scramble for whatever supply is available.

More schools are reopening in the U.S.

Students settle into a classroom in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

More than 72% of K-12 students are now attending schools that offer in-person or hybrid models of learning.

The big picture: The U.S. is seeing an almost-universal return of schools that were in-person as of November, as well as a gradual return in parts of the country that had been virtual for almost a year.

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