Adweek Gets a Cameo in Emily in Paris

The show is a fun binge for marketers, even if it lacks realism

Headshot of Jess Zafarris

If you’re one of the many marketers who cozied up to watch Netflix’s lighthearted new series Emily in Paris this month, you may have heard a familiar name in the first minute of the first episode.

After a morning jog in Chicago, the title character Emily (played by Lily Collins) heads to work and points out to her boss, Madeline Wheeler (Kate Walsh), that she’s featured in Adweek as a “Mover and Shaker.” The column is fictitious but the publication is, of course, real.

 “Chicago-based Gilbert Group expands international portfolio with acquisition of French luxury marketing firm Savoir,” Emily reads in the fictional article. “Gilbert Group vet Madeline Wheeler named director of marketing for Franco Firm.”

In the show, Emily moves from Chicago to Paris for a job applying American sensibilities to a traditional French marketing firm while managing her personal relationships.

Although the reviews have been mixed and many marketers have pointed out that the show is far from realistic—showing Emily becoming an influencer and growing her following with unrealistic ease and speed—they’ve also said it’s a fun show to binge. On Twitter, hotel marketer Jenn Zajac (fondly) called it “Aspirational drivel, utterly ridiculous, and definitely not written by actual marketers”—and then added that she finished it in one weekend.

Karen Freberg, who is an associate professor in strategic communications at the University of Louisville and also a member of Adweek’s Academic Council, wrote a Voice piece outlining five lessons marketers and advertisers can take away from the show. “Emily’s consistency in her brand voice, content and messaging resulted in professional opportunities,” Freberg wote. “In social media marketing, having a personal brand that showcases expertise and personality can open doors in the field.”

This isn’t the first time Adweek has shown up in pop culture. The publication has been mentioned in the 2009 series Trust Me and the 2012 film Think Like a Man.

In perhaps Adweek’s biggest claim to fame, Alan Ball, who wrote the screenplay for American Beauty, was an art director for Brandweek before breaking into the movies. In the film, the cover of Mediaweek serves as a template for the magazine that Kevin Spacey’s Lester Burnham works for, and Lester’s boss Brad Dupree is named after former Adweek reporter and editor Scotty Dupree.

In the 2015 Showtime series Happyish, Episode 8, Season 1 is titled “Starring Rene Descartes, Adweek and HRH The Princess of Arendelle.” In the episode, Adweek garners several mentions including the charming “Adweek can photograph my ass” (followed by the unforgettable “Epiphanies are orgasms of the mind”). 

@JessZafarris Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.