Editor’s Letter: Our Past Is Our Present, and Our Future

In Adweek's first issue of the year, the focus is on CES

Brand marketers, media execs and creatives will start the year looking through the prism of technology. Illustration: ChefBoyRG
Headshot of James Cooper

Welcome to 2019 and our first issue of the year, appropriately focused on the Consumer Electronics Show, which is where many brand marketers, media execs and creatives will start their year, looking through the prism of technology—tactically and strategically. What tools and capabilities do I need to get to where I want to be in two years?

It can be an exciting week of discovery, and Adweek will have a crack team led by technology editor Josh Sternberg on the ground to find the important signals amid the considerable hype and static noise bursting from the convention floor, as well as everything else happening in Las Vegas this week.

In this issue, Sternberg’s tech desk and staff writers take the helm. In Lisa Lacy’s cover story on facial recognition technology—which will likely feature prominently in Vegas—Lacy examines both the promise and the perils of this hyped but largely misunderstood technology. In her feature, Ann-Marie Alcántara hops on the electronic scooter craze to see how it is impacting the communities that have embraced the next generation of personal transportation technology. And Kelsey Sutton, in the face of crescendoing concern about data privacy, examines how that paradigm shift is impacting the Internet of Things, which is now facing real business consequences if it mishandles personal information. And Ronan Shields reports on TV manufacturers’ ad monitoring. The tech and media industries have never had more power, but just how will they handle the responsibility?

Further strengthening our editorial prowess, we are entering into 2019 with the exciting news of the acquisition of Marketer Moves and the addition of Nadine Dietz on our editorial team. Dietz, the founder of Marketer Moves and the host of the popular CMO Moves podcast, interviews the leading CMOs on the trends shaping today’s brand marketing landscape. Her mission with us is to further inject the voices of CMOs into our coverage, events programming and tent poles in the coming year.  Dietz will also help us build our growing brand community around the proposition of helping brand marketers of all stripes better understand the transformation happening all around them and ultimately be better at their jobs.

Also, in support of that goal, is the debut of our Challenger Brands summit Feb. 6 and 7 in New York. The inaugural event will highlight brands that are successfully challenging marketing’s established conventions and status quo. In an ongoing series of interviews starting with the Jan. 7 print issue called On the Road to Challenger Brands, Adweek contributor T.L. Stanley will catch up with event speakers to see what’s on their radar for 2019 and beyond.

Finally, Adweek turns 40 this year, and under the banner of 40 Years Bold we will spend the entire year celebrating our unique and rich history as we continue to look ahead to where we want to go in the future. Led by senior editor Robert Klara, who has spent the last nine months painstakingly reviewing back issues for historical gems, the program will kick off in the Jan. 7 print issue with an Adweek 40th item in the Upfront section of the magazine and continue in every issue throughout the year, culminating in a special Adweek 40 edition and event celebration in the fall.

For Klara’s first installment, he reminds us of how, in 1980, Adweek covered J. Walter Thompson’s desperate efforts to save the reputation of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 after the deadliest airplane crash in U.S. history—a valiant effort we predicted would likely fail, and it did.

We’ve come a long way and intend to go a longer way still.

This story first appeared in the Jan. 7, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@jcoopernyc james.cooper@adweek.com James Cooper is editorial director of Adweek.
Publish date: January 6, 2019 https://stage.adweek.com/brand-marketing/editors-letter-our-past-is-our-present-and-our-future/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT