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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Me Me Me: Ogilvy on Ogilvy not a pretty read, 15 Jan. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: An Autobiography (Trailblazers) (Hardcover)
If, like me, you read, re-read and enjoyed "Ogilvy On Advertising" and thought the man's autobiography would be similarly interesting, think again.
"David Ogilvy, An Autobiography", is a self-centred stinker.
As you might expect, its words are sufficiently well-crafted to allow easy and rapid reading. What sets this apart from Ogilvy's advertising writing is its egotism.
Some of it is outright - rabbiting on about all manner of subjects as if eager disciples were at hand to treasure every word (which perhaps, in the sixties, they were). Even worse though, is his quoting of both himself ("and then I said the most extraordinary thing") and others in search of yet another way to bury himself in praise.
In parts, the book is reminiscent of a cocktail party bore retelling episodes in which he was the chief comedic hero.
Name-dropping abounds to the point of tedium, and this is made worse by the fact that a present day reader will never have heard of most of the names.
For a reader interested in advertising, the book is disappointingly light on this part of Ogilvy's life. He seems to have made the mistake of thinking that, just because we admire/admired his work, we will also find every other aspect of his existence (most boringly his bloody Chateau) fascinating.
Perhaps the whole work is epitomised by its last chapter - a series of lists of the author's favourite plants, recipes, words (OK, we'll let that one go) and, in a final orgy of name dropping, friends. Mostly famous, of course. Who CARES what David Ogilvy's favourite plants are?!
Avoid this book. There are better ways to spend an afternoon.
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