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Powers of Persuasion: The Inside Story of British Advertising 1951-2000 [Hardcover]

Winston Fletcher
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

10 July 2008
tells the story of this dynamic, exhilarating era, with pen portraits of the personalities involved, anecdotes, and case histories - written from the inside by one of the industry's leaders and best-known commentators.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (10 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199228019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199228010
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 15.4 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

During much of the second half of the 20th century advertising in Britain led the world. Yet no history of British advertising covering this heady period has previously been published. During those years advertising increasingly came to touch upon almost every aspect of every individual's life, and reached its peak as a proportion of the Gross National Product. It boosted economic growth and peoples' affluence. But at the same time the advertising industry was frequently under siege, as politicians, pressure groups, and others constantly sought to restrain its influence - and often succeeded.

For several decades the creativity of British campaigns was preeminent around the globe. But Powers of Persuasion is not just about advertisements - it is about advertising. During those years Britain was also a world leader in setting industry benchmarks - innovating the account planning discipline, setting the standard for public service advertising, launching global advertising awards festivals, introducing the best system of advertising regulation, setting up both the world's largest advertising archive and the world's most comprehensive on-line advertising research databank. These were the keystones on which British creativity was built. Simultaneously, major British advertising companies - particularly Saatchi & Saatchi and WPP - raced to the top of the global league.

Powers of Persuasion tells the authoritative story of this dynamic, exhilarating era, with pen portraits of the personalities involved, anecdotes, case histories, and essential data. Written (from the inside) by one of the industry's leaders, this is a book for all interested in advertising and its role in society, business, and the media.

A comprehensive, highly readable and well-researched history... it is fascinating and thought-provoking, and I wish everyone in the ad business would read it. (Paul Feldwick, Market Leader)

This book is important, vauable, and a great read... Insights abound... the mini case-studies are excellent. (Tim Ambler, International Journal of Advertising)

Do go and buy this book. You'll enjoy it, and it's important to read it. (brand-republic.com)

The author shows a seductive flair for combining piquant anecdotes about individual agencies and campaigns with revealing and reliable data, which makes the book both enjoyable for the general reader and solidly based. (Financial Times)

A readable and racy inside story of the British advertising industry. (Isabelle Szmigin. Times Higher Education.)

About the Author

Fletcher plainly knows his stuff and writes in a crisp, lively way. He's also taken great pains to animate his characters, thus ensuring that his narrative has a properly flesh-and-blood feel to it. (Telegraph)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for all 'adlanders' and wannabes 26 July 2008
Format:Hardcover
It's not often that I read a business book cover-to-cover and in just a few days, and Winston Fletcher's 'Powers of Persuasion' is a rare pleasure as one of those. Although it is a history it's anything but dry, and that's because the author was one of the insiders as an agency owner, President of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and Chairman of the Advertising Association. So he brings to the narrative not only his personal knowledge and copious research, but also his own insights and observations - occasionally barbed, but that only adds to the enjoyment! The phrase 'must read' is an over-used one, but that shouldn't prevent it being employed when truly deserved, as in this case. Anyone already working in an agency or aspiring to do so, should buy this book, and the marketing and procurement professionals who are the clients of agencies will find it a rewarding read too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing the parts... 13 July 2008
Format:Hardcover
You couldn't make it up, as they say. A chippy adman tries to buy a high street bank; a supermarket trolley maker becomes one of the world's biggest ad agency groups and a bunch of chimps sells all the tea in China. Winston Fletcher, one of British advertising's most astute practitioners and observers didn't need to make it up because the true story of British advertising is as colourful, quirky and thrilling as some of its most famous advertisements. Fletcher tells the tale with fine attention to detail and an insider's knowledge of many of the larger than life characters who led the ad industry in the late 20th century and early 21st. The meteoric growth of Saatchi and Saatchi through the 1970s and 80s is perhaps the most astonishing strand in the story. The agency's trauma at losing its founders and their re-emergence as the highly successful M&C Saatchi is the stuff of TV melodrama. Fletcher's touch is pacy and humourous but his message is serious. Amidst all the high drama, British advertising for many decades led the world in creative flair and proven effectiveness. It is to be hoped it will continue to do so without being bled to death by unwarranted and unworkable government intervention.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a history 14 July 2008
Format:Hardcover
This is so much more than a history of advertising- though it is a very good history.Students will appreciate the way Fletcher captures the colour and flavour of the industry whilst advertising insiders will revel in reading about their strange genetic roots.A right riveting read.
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