Investopedia / Candra Huff

What Is Adweek?

Adweek is a U.S.-based weekly trade publication covering the business of advertising. In its print and online publications, it covers a wide range of advertising-related topics that extend beyond traditional advertising to new media and pop culture.

First published in 1979, Adweek is currently owned by investment company Shamrock Capital, which bought it from Canadian private equity firm Beringer Capital in June of 2020. It provides a comprehensive approach to content and audience delivery through a combination of print and online publications, blogs, e-newsletters, webcasts, and podcasts.

Key Takeaways

  • Adweek is a U.S.-based weekly trade publication that covers the advertising business.
  • The magazine and online properties cover a wide range of advertising-related topics that extend beyond traditional advertising to new media and pop culture.
  • Adweek was first published in 1979, during the heyday of print and television advertising. 
  • In mid-2020, Shamrock Capital acquired Adweek.

Understanding Adweek

Adweek covers advertising from a variety of angles, including the creative side of the business and new advertising campaigns, to the relationships between clients and agencies, global advertising, and accounts in review.

Its editorial coverage has provided analysis and insight into several game-changing events in the advertising business, including the rise of internet advertising, changes from the rise of cable television, and the migration from commission-based agency fees.

Adweek describes itself the following way:

Adweek is the leading source of news and insight serving the brand marketing ecosystem. First published in 1979, Adweek’s award-winning coverage reaches an engaged audience of more than 6 million professionals across platforms including print, digital, events, podcasts, newsletters, social media, and mobile apps. As a touchstone of the advertising and marketing community, Adweek is an unparalleled resource for leaders across multiple industries who rely on its content to help them do their job better.

Adweek History

Adweek was first published in 1979 during the heyday of print and television advertising by A/S/M Communications Inc. In 1990, Affiliated Publications Inc. (publisher of the Boston Globe), bought a controlling interest (80% of its outstanding common stock) in the publication.

In 2009, a newly formed e5 Global Media, a venture of Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners, agreed to buy eight brands belonging to Nielsen Business Media, including AdweekMedia (which included Adweek, Mediaweek, and Brandweek).

According to Adweek, "in 2014, Adweek's then-parent company Prometheus Global Media—owners of The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard—acquired and merged the editorial, job board, and education platforms with Adweek and the Clio Awards. Mediabistro, Adweek, and Clio, along with Film Expo, were then spun out from Guggenheim Partners/Prometheus Global into a new company, Mediabistro Holdings." 

Beringer Capital subsequently bought Adweek from Mediabistro Holdings, which was then liquidated. In mid-2020, Shamrock Capital acquired Adweek.

Adweek: Other Properties

Adweek publishes a number of blogs that focus on the advertising and mass media businesses, such as AdFreak and the Adweek Blog Network, which was lifted out of the assets of the former Mediabistro. Other blogs that transferred to Shamrock Capital-owned Adweek include FishbowlNY, TVSpy, and TVNewser.

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