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September 29, 2007
Book review: Adland

I never studied advertising at university, and even if I did, I think nobody would have told me the history of the agencies who made the history of advertising. I'm not even sure there is a school book telling the history of this fascinating world. So I was very interested when Kogan Page sent me a copy of "Adland – a global history of advertising" written by Mark Tungate, a journalist and a copywriter I indirectly know through my friends in Diesel. It's a great reading, a book to sip a chapter a day, with no hurry.

It tells the story of the men (and a few women) who created the great agencies we all know about, from J. Walter Thompson to BBDO, Publicis, Ogilvy and BBH (just to name a few). And the story is told after an impressive research and with a real passion that involves us in the reading that pictures the human side of a business worth US$400 billion a year worldwide.

A part from the feeling of getting "behind the scenes" of the history of advertising, what I really appreciated is the international perspective of the book. Even if I recognize that US and UK definitely had (and maybe still have) a crucial and leading role in making the history of the advertising business, there else and more to the discover and explore. This is the approach I always try to have writing Adverblog, therefore finding references to Brazil, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and Spain (again, just to name a few) really made happy and increased even more my appreciation of AdLand. It's a book to have (and read :-) and even a good present for a friend who is approaching or already living in the advertising world.

Comments on this entry

Thanks for sharing this. It's hard to appreciate what we have today without examining the past.

Posted by: Dan Schawbel at September 30, 2007 06:57 PM


Adland has been sitting on the top of my reading pile since I got a copy... your review has inspired me to start reading it sooner than later -- thanks!

Posted by: Heath Row at October 4, 2007 09:31 PM


Is Sam Delaney son of one of the London advertising Delaneys of Tim, Greg, Paul,and Barry?

Posted by: Dave Weller at October 5, 2007 01:23 AM


Yep - he sure is.

Posted by: Alastair Mills at October 8, 2007 01:12 PM


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