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From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-line Dispatches from the Advertising War Paperback – 22 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd (22 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847679536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847679536
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Beyond parody and quite brilliant, it's best read after a three-Martini lunch.' GQ Magazine

About the Author

Jerry Della Femina has worked in the advertising industry for over fifty years. He currently runs Della Femina Rothschild Jeary and Partners in New York. He was an advisor on Season One of Mad Men.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Dec. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Jerry Della Famina, a Madison Avenue Mad Man wrote the book as a promotional effort for his ad agency in 1970. In essence it is very much a self promotional book in the style of Connie Hilton's Be My Guest or closer to home (advertising industry) David Ogilvy's Confessions of an Advertising Man.

As stated on the cover, it really is gossip filled and it very much describes the world of the Mad Men - Series 1-3 [DVD] series. On the other hand it appears to have been written by someone with a severe attention deficit disorder and coherent organisation or a storyline is truly not something you can charge this book with. One can certainly see why David Ogilvy thought the lunatics took over the asylum (referring to people like Della Femina) and I was really left to wonder why the author would find the comment an affront.

So what do you get? The book is certainly entertaining. I am not sure if it works best after a three martini lunch - reading it sober one does start to wonder how many tangents the guy can go off on while trying to tell a story and how often he can contradict himself (with supreme confidence). You get some insight into the advertising business of the 1960s but not nearly of the quality and usefulness of Confessions of an Advertising Man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE on 23 July 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The title of this book suggests that the reader is going to get lots of laughs, particularly at politically incorrect jokes. This is exactly what the book delivers. In addition it provides an insider's insight into a particular period (the sixties mainly) into the ultimate consumerist industry, namely advertising.

The title actually comes from a cod slogan which the author suggested as a headline in a campaign.

Femina does not produce a consistent picture. He starts by saying that the image of the drunken, pill-popping, bed-hopping "Mad Men" of the advertising industry is a gross exaggeration. He then goes on to tell many anecdotes which almost entirely reinforce this image.

The majority of the book reads as if we are listening to Jerry holding court in his favourite Madison Avenue bar. This is both a strength and a weakness. Whilst this style is mostly engaging, from time to time (just like anyone who holds court in a bar) he does tend to lose the place and ramble off into areas which appear largely irrelevant and even occasionally a bit boring.

Every now and again Femina really does manage to hit the mark. He does this well in his chapter on fear where he describes the insecurities felt by many in the advertising industry; fears which will resonate with many of us in this post credit crunch age.

One area where Femina produces a particularly cogent argument is in the chapter on censorship. Here he adopts a libertarian stance and rails against the controls exerted upon him by the American equivalent of the Advertising Standards Authority and the TV networks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ray Blake VINE VOICE on 24 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Some books stand the test of time, whilst others are very much of their moment. For this book, that moment was 1970. Within a couple of years, the references would have been dated, the campaigns, agencies and accounts would have been old news. Today, if you can remember any of the advertising campaigns mentioned here, you are getting on in years, and if you don't come from the US, you'll have no chance.

This is a shame, because the book really does rather rely on you knowing how BOAC advertised on US TV in the late sixties, knowing what Avis's slogan was at the time and how Levy's Rye Bread became ubiquitous on the shelves. Without this, you're going to be reading a man rambling at length and trotting out strings of seemingly-random names (these are the agencies), cracking jokes whose punchlines you don't have the cultural references to understand and wondering why on earth a decent editor wasn't employed to kick the profusion of distractions into some kind of order.

Were it not for the tenuous TV-tie in, this book wouldn't even be available in the remainder shop fire sale.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Jerry Della Famina, a Madison Avenue Mad Man wrote the book as a promotional effort for his ad agency in 1970. In essence it is very much a self promotional book in the style of Connie Hilton's Be My Guest or closer to home (advertising industry) David Ogilvy's Confessions of an Advertising Man.

As stated on the cover, it really is gossip filled and it very much describes the world of the Mad Men - Series 1-3 [DVD] series. On the other hand it appears to have been written by someone with a severe attention deficit disorder and coherent organisation or a storyline is truly not something you can charge this book with. One can certainly see why David Ogilvy thought the lunatics took over the asylum (referring to people like Della Femina) and I was really left to wonder why the author would find the comment an affront.

So what do you get? The book is certainly entertaining. I am not sure if it works best after a three martini lunch - reading it sober one does start to wonder how many tangents the guy can go off on while trying to tell a story and how often he can contradict himself (with supreme confidence). You get some insight into the advertising business of the 1960s but not nearly of the quality and usefulness of Confessions of an Advertising Man.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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