Adweek Is 30. Will It Make It To 35?

I’ve been reading Adweek every week for 15 years, ever since I took advantage of its cheap student subscription rate. And back then, it was more valuable than any college class if you wanted to get a feel for the ins-and-outs and weekly machinations of the ad industry and all the agencies in it.
Up until a few years ago, Adweek published 6 regional editions—so if you were in the Southeast, you had some national news as well as extensive regional coverage. They had reporters in Dallas, Atlanta, LA, etc. That mattered a whole hell of a lot in the sometimes locally incestuous ad scenes. As an intern in a small agency’s new-business department, I read the back issues of Adweek to get a near-encyclopedic sense of who, what, and where things were happening in the business.
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I believe in the need for strong business journalism and news reporting. These days, though, I’m not sure where Adweek belongs. The weekly editions are gone. This is a business where plenty of small and mid-sized agencies are starting up, in all parts of the country, doing innovative work in old and new media, and competing for business on a national and global scale. But you’d never know it from today’s Adweek.


The 30th anniversary edition is self-congratulatory, of course, but it’s just a mashup of non-insightful insights from advertising’s self-proclaimed important people. And while good folks like Alan Wolk are regularly getting prime slots in the weekly mag to express their opinions, there’s very little content in Adweek these days that you can’t get from perusing a good dozen of the sites on AdPulp’s blogroll.
Maybe it’s just me, but Adweek ought to go back to find its future. Tell us who’s doing what, and who’s going where, in every ad scene in America and beyond. Spotlight account reviews and new campaign launches. Focus on the news and leave most of the editorializing and opinion to sites like this one.
This isn’t about “print is dead.” They can do this in print and online as well, and even ramp up the timeliness of breaking news and campaigns. There’s a lot for Adweek to cover. Hell, if Matt Drudge and Arianna Huffington can bring the news every day, so can Adweek.

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About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • td

    amen, danny. when i entered the business about 17 years ago, adweek was vital. i used to devour each issue, flag the best stories (there were many) and circulate it around the office. the regional edition kept our small shop in the loop about area accounts in review, people, trends, etc. in many ways, it was my formal advertising education.
    i left the agency world to go freelance in 2000 and decided to take the print edition. a few years ago, when it had become little more than a few stapled signatures of nothing much in particular, i dropped it in favor of the online subscription. still not seeing the value, i scratched that $149 yearly write-off and began to look elsewhere for industry news. and boy is it out there.

  • http://multicultclassics.blogspot.com HighJive

    Dude,
    I’m not even convinced Adweek made it to 30. It stopped being a trade publication at least three years ago. It’s essentially a repository for Nielsen research reports.

  • http://patrickmchugh.com/portfolio2/portfolio2.html Patrick McHugh

    I see PC mag is about to become a web only magazine. Adweek may at somestage wander down this road. Multi media and imagery options the web holds may suit the magazines long term attractiveness.