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An Autobiography (Trailblazers) Hardcover – 30 Jan 1997

1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Rev Ed edition (30 Jan. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471180025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471180029
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,510,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

A unique personality . . .

"Ogilvy, the creative force of modern advertising." -The New York Times

"Ogilvy's sharp, iconoclastic personality has illuminated the industry like no other ad man's." -Adweek. .

... an acclaimed author.

Praise for Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy

"A writing style that snaps, crackles, and pops on every page." -The Wall Street Journal.

"An entertaining and literate book that can serve as a valuable primer on advertising for any businessman or investor." -Forbes. -- Forbes.

From the Inside Flap

"I remembered how my grandfather had failed as a farmer and become a successful businessman. Why not follow in his footsteps? Why not start an advertising agency? I was thirty–eight. no credentials, no clients, and only $6,000 in the bank." Whatever David Ogilvy may have lacked in money and credentials, he more than made up for with intelligence, talent, and ingenuity. He became the quintessential ad man, a revolutionary whose impact on his profession still reverberates today. His brilliant campaigns went beyond successful advertising, giving rise to such pop culture icons as the famous Hathaway shirt man with his trademark black eyepatch. His client list runs the gamut from Rolls Royce to Sears Roebuck, Campbell’s Soup to Merrill Lynch, IBM to the governments of Britain, France, and the United States. How did a young man who had known poverty as a child in England, worked as a cook in Paris, and once sold stoves to nuns in Scotland climb to the pinnacle of the fast–paced, fiercely competitive world of advertising? Long before storming Madison Avenue, David Ogilvy’s life had already had its share of colorful experiences and adventure. Now, this updated edition of David Ogilvy’s autobiography presents his extraordinary life story and its many fascinating twists and turns. Born in 1911, David Ogilvy spent his first years in Surrey (Beatrix Potter’s uncle lived next door, and his niece was a frequent visitor). His father was a classical scholar who had played rugby for Cambridge. "My father did his best to make me as strong and brainy as himself. When I was six, he required that I should drink a tumbler of raw blood every day. When that brought no result, he tried beer. To strengthen my mental faculties, he ordered that I should eat calves’ brains three times a week. Blood, brains, and beer: a noble experiment." Before marrying, his mother had been a medical student. When World War I brought economic disaster to the family, they were forced to move in with relatives in London. Scholarships to boarding school and Oxford followed, and then, fleeing academia. Ogilvy set out on the at times surprising, at times rocky road to worldwide recognition and success. His remarkable journey would lead the ambitious young man to America where, with George Gallup, he ran a polling service for the likes of Darryl Zanuck and David O. Selzniek in Hollywood; to Pennsylvania, where he became enamored with the Amish farming community; and back to England to work for British Intelligence with Sir William Stephenson. Along the way, with the help of his brother, David Ogilvy secured a job with Mather and Crowther, a London advertising agency. The rest is history. An innovative businessman, a great raconteur, a genuine legend in his own lifetime, David Ogilvy is one of a kind. So is his autobiography.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
27 of 30 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 Vaughn Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 Nov. 2016
By Everet West - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
excellent copy
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Egg on the face 15 Mar. 2003
By DJ Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Shame... Shame...
A self confessed Ogilvy fan has finally found out that this Scotsman can be egotistic as hell!
Ogilvy on Advertising was indeed a great book but this book... would take you to a completing different direction. The book was simply a self-satisfying, trumpet blowing bio and Ogilvy would just not let it go. The book was also like the man was trying to kiss his own rear-end.
But... Ogilvy is known to be a proud man and you can't blame him. The man built one of the most famous ad-houses and wrote two great bibles (Confession... & Ogilvy on Advertising)!
So, what do I think of this book? I think the book was written during the time when Ogilvy regret his baby is with WPP (I may be wrong as the book may have been written prior to that event) and the book's sole purpose was to reinforce his achievement to the world.
Read it if you have the time but make sure you got it from the local library.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curmudgeonly and terse 11 Dec. 2001
By Robert R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Not your typical autobiography. It's really a memoir because it is less structured than an autobiography. Ogilvy is an asymmetrical thinker who likes being obnoxious. I liked it because he does not disappoint; he does it his way. I was not bored by it.
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