PROMISE THEM ANYTHING: The Inside Story of the Madison Avenue Power Struggle by Edward Buxton

PROMISE THEM ANYTHING: The Inside Story of the Madison Avenue Power Struggle

Email this review


So you think it's easy to be an ad man, sitting up there in your posh office on Madison Ave., sipping martinis, thinking creatively? Well, think again, kid. Sure it's as glamorous as Mary Wells Lawrence's Pucci clothes and David Ogilvy's 12th century French chateau, but there's many a slip twixt the pitch and the sale especially since the ""creative revolution"" of the '60's started hitting the big agencies in their bank accounts. Buxton, who reads like an industry Earl Wilson, will tell you all the inside poop on Walter J. Thompson, McCann-Erikson, Ted Bates, and Doyle Dane & Birnbach plus providing a Who's Who rundown of the new ""creative-only"" agencies where the magic combination of Jewish copywriter and Italian art director hatched such revolutionary concepts as Avis' ""We're number 2,"" Calvert's ""soft whiskey"" and Benson & Hedges' perilous cigarette breaks. The pitfalls along the road to the first million are many: client interference with the creative process (they're tight-fisted and square); the difficulties of convincing your own account department to back your hunches; constant grumpy surveillance by the hypersensitive FDA and other government regulatory agencies; the general skittishness of creative people; piracy of accounts, ideas and talent by competitors in this racket where social Darwinism allows only the fittest to survive. Ah, but the glittering rewards! The ""drama and excitement!"" The thrill of the meteoric rise to superstar status! Buxton revels in every narcissistic detail of his thrill-seeking tour of the Advertising Empire, which will be read by every salivating boy-wonder in the business.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1972
Publisher: Stein & Day