Academic journal article Journal of Advertising Education

Twenty Years Later

Academic journal article Journal of Advertising Education

Twenty Years Later

Article excerpt

It has been 20 years since the first issue of the JAE was published. Jim and I were successive heads of the Ad Division of AEJMC and were fortunate enough to see the birth of the Journal of Advertising Education under our watch.

The new journal was the collective brainstorm of Ad Division members from the late 1980s and early 1990s. As is often the case, who really knows where, when or by whom the seed of an idea is planted? In the Journal's case, it was probably planted in the fertile fields of Ad Division member discussions over the need to legitimize our teaching efforts and achievements in the minds of our mortgage holders, the university at large and an old guard, primarily in Journalism. They provided the home where we boldly took a seat in the early 1960s, thanks to the pioneering efforts from the likes of Billy I. Ross among others.

Having entered the home with ready cash in the form of increasing student enrollments, advertising's rent was sure to be paid. Students flocked to the field. As a consequence, ad education grew, requiring more resources, more room, and more autonomy. In a way, allied disciplines such as Journalism were glad to have and house us through those growth years. After all, it's not like our room was free. We racked up the student tuition hours and helped feed the coffers. We were good tenants. Still, since advertising lacked the time-tested history of academic success and refinement, in the minds of some it was often perceived as "lightweight" or "crass." In effect, it had yet to become a legitimate academic field.

By the mid-90s, great strides had been made to legitimize advertising as a "science" and "art" with both depth and rigor. But what distinguished the AEJMC Ad Division back then was its focused thinking in giving voice to how we "educate. …

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