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.
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.