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Adweek and brandweek

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Alternate/previous data source names: Brandweek was known as Adweek’s Marketing Week until 1992 and until 1986 as Adweek (National Marketing Edition), which superseded Ad Forum in 1985.

Since the mid-1970s Adweek has published a series of regional titles, including East, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, New England, and West. In eary 2003 the six regional titles were combined into one national edition.

Service/portal name: Adweek and Brandweek can be accessed through their Web sites at and

Searching is free, but full access to all articles requires a subscription. Adweek and Brandweek references and articles are also found in databases such as PROMT and ABI/Inform.

Source description: Adweek and Brandweek are both weekly publications, and both come from VNU Business Publications. Until early 2003, the Adweek print edition offered six regional titles.

The print edition is now consolidated into one national edition, with regionally tailored classified advertising.

Regional news stories can still be viewed separately on the Web site. For this evaluation, I want to look at and, compared with access through databases such as PROMT.

Pricing: An Adweek twelve-month premium subscription, including archive access, costs $238.95. Brandweek can be added for an additional $149. Full-text records from PROMT, File 16, can be downloaded for $3.45 each.

Adweek is also available on Factiva back to January 1, 1991, with downloaded articles priced at $2.95 each. LexisNexis also includes Adweek, with coverage back to February 1989. The data format is Selected Full-Text.

Pricing depends upon your individual subscription plan, but the credit card option allows searchers to purchase articles for $3 each.

Source content: Adweek claims to have the most in-depth news coverage and industry analysis of the advertising industry from a national and international agency perspective.

According to its Web site, Adweek covers the “players, the pitches, the deals and the decisions shaking up the advertising industry.”

It also covers public relations; direct marketing; and sports, event, and promotion marketing.

Brandweek targets marketing executives and management decision makers working in product advertising, research, and promotion.

It offers competitive information and insights by covering top brands and the executives who market them.

According to the Brandweek Web site, “special emphasis is placed on breakthrough campaigns and new advertising/promotional spending.”

The Adweek and Brandweek archives on the Web, which go back to 1993, can be searches using a simple keyword.

Advanced Search allows you to limit a search to a specific VNU publication, searching by byline or date range, and sorting by date or keyword. Retrieved articles can be viewed and printed one by one.

The Web site includes tabs to accounts in Review, where subscribers can view a list of companies or products for which new advertising agencies are being sought, including the agency that currently holds the account and the agencies in contention. The Web site also offers a link to Industry Groups.

From this page you can view lists such as Adweek’s 2002 Hotlists, Top 50 Interactive Agencies, Brandweek’s Superbrands, Top National Agencies, and Top Agencies by Region.

Clicking on Brandweek’s Superbrands, for instance, leads to annual lists of the top two thousand brand names (in groups of five hundred), and by following the link to America’s Top Brands of 2001 (1-500), we find out that McDonald’s was the number one brand based on media expenditures.

The site also offers articles discussing the brand categories. For instance, the Fast Food article addresses market share, product positioning, promotions, new products, and branding strategies in this category.

Subscriptions in both Adweek and Brandweek include print and online access, with the online edition providing the national edition along with articles related to the six regions.

When you log in to the online version of Adweek, you see the headlines and breaking stories in the center, with regional news segmented along the right side of the page. The Brandweek home page is dominated by headlines and links to the full articles.

Adweek and Brandweek full-text versions are also widely available in Factiva, LexisNexis, and several Dialog databases, including File 9: Business & Industry, File 15: ABI/Inform, File 16: PROMT, File 148: Gale Group Trade & Industry, and File 553: Wilson Business Abstracts Fulltext. In File 16, for instance, full-text articles from Adweek go back to 1990; for Brandweek they go back to 1992.

Source evalution: Adweek and Brandweek offer a unique perspective in market and industry research.

For advertising strategies, expenditures, product positioning, branding efforts, rankings, and industry overviews, these publications present depth and detail. Full access to the Web site content is available to subscribers.

The Web sites are updated daily and offer standard Web site search capabilities. Unfortunately, the Web sites contain advertising banners across the top and down the sides. These banners often contain animated graphics, which can prove annoying to the searcher who spends more than a few minutes on the site.

A trial keyword search on Pepsi in Adweek retrieved thirty-four pages of articles. Although the advanced search option allows searchers to request results sorted by date, this function did not seem to work well.

On one page of results there were articles from 1993, surrounded by articles from 1997 and 2002. When searching Adweek and Brandweek through an aggregator such as Dialog, the researcher has access to much more powerful search tools.

Indexing allows precise limiting by date, geographic names, product names, industry names, and NAICS codes.

Some databases, such as PROMT, have indexed event names, allowing retrieval related to details such as product information, market share, market size, prices, new products, or public relations.

If your organization already subscribes to either Adweek or Brandweek, you will definitely want to register to use the publication’s Web site.

The information available there is useful and includes graphics, charts, pictures, and tables not available through the online database aggregators.

Whethere or not you choose to subscribe will depend upon the anticipated frequency of use.

If you are pulling articles from Dialog, Factiva, or LexisNexis on a regular basis, you may find a databse subscription to be more cost-effective.

If you prefer or required colorful, nicely formatted graphics, you will want to consider subscribing to the publications themselves.

Source value rating: All of the data source reviewers were asked to rate each source on the basis of the following eight categories, using “10” as the highest rating and “1” as the lowest (“80” being a perfect score):

1. Relative cost-to-value:   7
2. Relative timeliness of data:   10
3. Relative comprehensiveness of data:  10
4. Ease of use:     5
5. Search options available:   3
6. Level of support services:   5
7. Level of training offered:   5
8. Amount/kinds of special services offered: 3
Total Rating:     48

Useful tips
• If your organization already subscribes to either Adweek or Brandweek, you will definitely want to register to use the publication’s Web site.

• For advertising strategies, expenditures, product positioning, branding efforts, rankings, and industry overviews, these publications present depth and detail.

• The Web site search capability works best when using a single keyword.


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