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Back in March, as the coronavirus pandemic began to wreak havoc on our lives, our economy and our industry, Bradley Johnson, Ad Age's director of data analytics, presciently noted the parallels between the challenges that  brands and the ad community faced after 9/11 and today

Ad Age knows something about tough times: We published our first issue less than 90 days after the stock market crash of 1929. One thing we’ve seen again and again: Remarkable innovation occurs in the worst of times.

All this has happened before

In the depths of the 2007-2009 Great Recession, Johnson dug into Ad Age's archives to analyze the issue of innovation during three of the roughest economic periods in American history: the Great Depression and recessions of the early ’70s and early ’80s. The result was a 2008 Ad Age white paper: “Downtime Opportunity: Marketing and Media Innovation in the Great Depression and Great Recessions.”