4 Decades of Trends, Issues and Players That Have Shaped Marketing and Media as We Know It

Adweek's 40 Years Bold issue

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:

This story first appeared in the Dec. 9, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.
@UpperEastRob robert.klara@adweek.com Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.