THE PADDED SELL: The Secret Life of an Ad Man by Ken Hornsby

THE PADDED SELL: The Secret Life of an Ad Man

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Despite the title's promise of confessional expose, this British version of a familiar (Ogilvy et al.) tale is merely a mild romp, saved from tedium only by the curiosity of Anglo-lied ad-game clichÉs and by the sparkle of some bright London-office repartee. A novice copy writer, narrator-hero Hornsby learns the biz from the bottom up (seemingly in about three weeks), propelled along by a cast of stock characters: the hardbitten Agency mother superior who passes judgment on whether a person is creative or not; the writer who drinks lunch--every day; the comely secretary who. . . also types. And, as is made clear through much jaunty (if occasionally labored) dialogue, befuddlement rules the London advertising scene, almost always with beneficial (though never admitted as such) results. A few cross-cultural oddities, a few satirical credos (""an idea doesn't care who has it"")--but the passes are all fast, the pokes all gentle; and overall this is just a pale, English-accented echo of the many tougher Mad. Ave. renditions.

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's