On a chilly night in November 1977, Time Inc. veteran Jack Thomas invited his old friend Pen Tudor out to dinner in New York. Thomas had a business venture he wanted to discuss. A Los Angeles-based publisher was looking to sell three regional trade papers aimed at ad executives: Advertising News of New York, Serving Advertising in the Midwest, and Media, Agencies, Clients.
Thomas had a feeling that advertising was fast morphing into a national industry—the “Americanization of Madison Avenue”—and, to serve that industry, sought to merge the titles into a single periodical. After inducing Tudor and Kenneth Fadner to sign on as his venture partners, Thomas did just that: The first issue of Adweek hit mailboxes on Nov. 19, 1979.
“Our friends in the business were skeptical of our plan to turn a little stable of titles into a vehicle for serious coverage of the advertising industry,” the late Thomas recalled in 1998. “But we were sure there was still a need.”
He was right. And this issue—which 6 million people will read, both online and in print—is proof of it. In the pages to follow, Adweek’s editors look back at four decades of notable news, trends and people. They also take a gander at what could be in store for the next 40 years.
Check out all of Adweek’s 40th anniversary coverage:
- 40 Years of Scoops, Bloops and Other Surprises from Adweek’s Archives
- 10 Pioneering Women Who Came to Life in the Pages of Adweek
- The 1980s Saw Globalization, Agency Fragmentation and Some of the Best Ads Ever Made
- The 1990s Were a Revolutionary Decade That Forever Changed How We Watch TV
- Why the 2000s Were the Most Disruptive Decade Since World War II
- In the 2010s, Technology Brought Us Closer Together and Threatened to Tear Us Apart
- Access and Regulations to Collide in the 2020s, as the Battle to Redefine Privacy Plays Out