From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War Audio CD
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Top Customer Reviews
Della Femina would be a guy you would want to sit next to on a stool at the Oyster Bar. He would regal you with raunchy stories of Madison Avenue and if you listen carefully enough, you may learn something about advertising. Buried within the stories of drinking, toking, cheating, and playing politics are a few good bon mots like:
"There is no such thing as a bad client. But there is such a thing as bad advertising."
"Most account guys live with fear in their hearts."
"Creative people do not have a business sense about themselves."
"There is a great deal of advertising that is much better than the product. When that happens, all that good advertising will do is put you out of business."
Throughout the book there is high praise for Bill Bernbach and his agency, DDB. In fact, he sites the Volkswagen campaign as the industry game-changer and the people from DDB as the successful archetype for the industry as a whole. A beneficial section is on presenting and pitching where Della Femina accurately likens it to theater.
In terms of the Mad Men antics, he summarizes the industry with: "Crazy? Yes. Romantic and glamorous? Not one bit. The wild stuff, I'm afraid, is very much overrated." Which is true in Mad Men when we see agencies and individuals sow the seeds of their own destruction week to week.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As events would transpire, Mr. Della Femina and I ended up living in the same town. Okay, so maybe I live here and he owns it. My favorite reading in this town is the column that Jerry writes for the weekly newspaper...which he happens to own. I usually make copies of this column and send it to friends. Believe me, we all howl.
Considering his prominence in the place where we both live, there's not a month that passes that I don't tell somebody about this book. It was as interesting as it was funny, a primer on the advertising industry written by a man of integrity. (Did you hear the one about the time he got arrested for displaying pumpkins in front of the gourmet shop he owns? Seriously, folks....) Very simply, I think that Jerry Della Femina is a genius. Of course, I give Jerry full credit for the title of this memoir, both the way he crafted the phrase and the sentiment behind it.
A dear friend was doing a very important business deal with a prominent Japanese firm. He and his wife invited me to dinner to help entertain the company's rep on his trip to NYC. After they had invited me, they remembered my enthusiasm for this autobiography. Then, they started to worry that I was going to tell the client (who spoke perfect English) all about Jerry's book. They prevailed upon me to exercise restraint. It was difficult, but I held my tongue.
There are some books which, as a reader, one just can't understand why a publisher would let go out of print. As far as I'm concerned, WONDERFUL FOLKS heads my list.