Welcome to the first Ad Age Digital Edition
The last few months have been trying for us all, and we at Ad Age have been busy gathering the news you need to know—wherever you are working.
We have been developing new ways to connect with our readers using innovations including our Remotely video series and online events.
To that end, this week we introduce a new, digital version of Ad Age that will offer you our content in a timely fashion—no postal delivery necessary. This new product has the added benefit of incorporating not just stories but also links to our multimedia content including podcasts, video and even ads.
There is a lot to report in this inaugural issue.
As you read this, the country is on the march against racial injustice while struggling to reopen following a pandemic that took more than a hundred thousand lives. Here, we tackle the tough topics to help guide agencies, marketers and media on how to move forward.
Our Brand Playbook advises marketers on what to do—and what not to do—in communicating to consumers that it is safe to once again patronize their businesses in person. We look at the potential legal liabilities in resuming commercial shoots and report on a new crop of agencies being formed to challenge the existing agency model. “Projects have been slashed, profitability is way down,” says Ari Halper, founder of one such startup called Sauce Idea Lab. “It seems ripe for the taking for agencies that can deliver on price point.”
In our “Five Questions With” feature, Translation founder Steve Stoute shames marketers for empty gestures rather than action on racial inequality in the wake of the George Floyd murder. “The responses that I have seen are typically what the ad industry does—it’s Band-Aids, it’s cover-your-ass kind of stuff. It’s put out a post that says ‘Black Lives Matter,’ so no one can actually say that you didn’t say anything. But this is a problem that is systemic and it requires a long-term commitment.”
And while the ad industry has long talked about diversity and social justice, Simon Dumenco points out in our Ad Age at 90 feature that the discussion has been “frustratingly old.” He uncovers a telling story from our archives headlined “Desegregate Ads, TV, Lever Tells Agencies”—from 1963.
For a more personal perspective on the experience of African Americans in the early years of advertising, take a look at this video Ad Age did in 2014 with Roy Eaton, an Advertising Hall of Famer from the long-defunct DMB&B. “If you were white, I’d hire you immediately,” he was told.
The digital edition also offers a distillation of what is currently trending and the events, news and issues to keep an eye on in the coming week.
This is the first of a number of Ad Age digital issues planned for this summer to supplement our online coverage and, after this initial issue, will be limited to subscribers. If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive the digital issue, sign up here. And for our current subscribers, we thank you for reading and welcome any comment and feedback on this new innovation coming regularly to your inbox.
Download the issue here (11MB).