Book: AdMan by Earle Levenstein
categories: Book, Suspense, Crime, Advertising, Drama, Marketing, NYC, CEO, Business, Mystery Thriller
Earle Levenstein about this book: I logged a lot of years in The Business; moving from gag-cartooning, which paid very little, to advertising, which at least provided a predictable income as my family grew. At first, it was a dream; since I'd always written and drawn my own work, it was a chance to do just that, only now, surrounded by people who were imaginative, talented and didn't take themselves or the print ads and TV spots they produced, as serious contributions to the future of civilization. That was the Creative Department; the team that kept the whole enterprise afloat; without whom, Management--the silver haired, blue-blazered, gray-flanneled, pipe- smoking, country-clubbers who occupied the oriental-carpeted offices on the floors above-- would have nothing to fill their empty briefcases when they, alone, would go to present their mirror-imaged clients, with the advertising that would sell product to consumers by the carload. Creative people were not invited to those presentations. We were people who were not to be trusted with clients. Might say something that would blow the whole account. Actually, it wasn't long after I became creative director of one agency, then principal of another, then president of another, that creative crazies took over The Business.
Needless to say, the creative revolution produced some really interesting and highly original campaigns. Stuff that would never have gotten past the management screening process in the good old days when anything original was cut off at the pass. So it was a whole new world. Still advertising; still urging people to buy things they didn't need, but now airing TV spots that were, increasingly, more memorable than the program material with which they were surrounded. At any rate, now that I'm out of The Business, here I am writing about--you guessed it--The Business. Not to persuade readers to buy stuff, but rather to let them know what it was and still is like to be in it up to your ears; hearing things you'd never otherwise hear; seeing things you might not believe. But other than the usual disclaimers, I've known and worked with and for plenty of people on both sides of the wall. Advertising people and clients. You can see for yourself how that works out. And you need to know that although rife with creative license and plenty of imagination, the true nature of The Business is right there. Weird but true, as they used to say. Plenty weird; and plenty true.
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