September 28, 2018 / 7:34 AM / a year ago

Shares in Publicis and WPP fall on WSJ report of probe into advertising sector

PARIS (Reuters) - Shares in European advertising companies Publicis (PUBP.PA) and WPP (WPP.L) fell on Friday, with traders attributing the declines to Wall Street Journal report of a U.S. investigation into the sector.

The paper reported that federal prosecutors in Manhattan had opened an investigation into media-buying practices in the advertising industry and had begun issuing subpoenas as part of the probe, citing people familiar with the matter.

Media buying is a highly profitable part of the industry and a previous report in 2016 by the Association of National Advertisers had prompted major advertising buyers to demand better transparency.

Publicis and WPP compete with the likes of Omnicom (OMC.N), Interpublic (IPG.N) and Dentsu (4324.T) in the global advertising industry.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Kate Holton and David Goodman

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