In Up the Agency, originally published in 1990, Peter Mayle turns his mind back to what drove him to the south of France in the first place: the advertising business, where he lost thirteen perfectly good years of his life. Once known as “the greatest copywriter alive,” Mayle’s uproarious and telling retrospective of the foibles of the ad man’s life wittily dissects this odd and fascinating industry, where clients are “pigs with checkbooks” and the speed of a new talent’s ascent can be matched only by his ...
In Up the Agency, originally published in 1990, Peter Mayle turns his mind back to what drove him to the south of France in the first place: the advertising business, where he lost thirteen perfectly good years of his life. Once known as “the greatest copywriter alive,” Mayle’s uproarious and telling retrospective of the foibles of the ad man’s life wittily dissects this odd and fascinating industry, where clients are “pigs with checkbooks” and the speed of a new talent’s ascent can be matched only by his shocking fall months later. A sharp-edged look at an industry that brings both pleasure and pain to millions (and millions to a few), Up the Agency will bring certain pleasure to devoted readers of Mayle, Ad Age, and fans of the hit television series Mad Men. Digital and audio editions include a new foreword by the author.
"...Peter Mayle was once known as the 'greatest copywriter alive'... Readers already familiar with the name of Peter Mayle may associate that name with his already-popular travel pieces (among others): A Year in Provence and French Lessons - but for a taste of something different and just as talented, UP THE AGENCY can't be beat. ...s powerful account that will captivate even audiences with no prior familiarity with either the Mad Men TV series or Peter Mayle's previous works. Bravo!"
Peter Mayle was educated at Brighton College, England, and later at Harrison College, Barbados. He left school at sixteen and returned to England, where he failed to distinguish himself as a waiter and a laundry van driver before joining Shell as a trainee.He left Shell to join David Ogilvy's agency in New York, and spent nearly fifteen years in the advertising business on both sides of the Atlantic before leaving honest employment to become a writer.
His first book, Where Did I Come From?, explaining the facts of life to children, was published in 1973 and is still in print today, more than three million copies later.
In 1987, he moved to Provence intending to write a novel, but the distractions of his life interfered. These become the material for A Year in Provence, which was published in 1989. It has now been translated into 38 languages, and has sold between five and six million copies. It also spent three years on both the London Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller lists. The sequel, Toujours Provence, followed in 1991. Since then, there have been a number of novels, including A Good Year, which in 2007 was made into a film starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott.
He has at various times professed an interest in amateur genetic engineering, musical espionage, diamond cutting, brain surgery for beginners, nude fencing and several other unusual leisure activities. These, alas, are all lies – attempts to add a little interest to an area of personal life that is normally devoted to less dramatic pursuits such as gardening and golf.
In fact, his principal hobby is lunch. Probably to make up for several years of being forced to eat revolting school food when young. Indeed, he hopes that when death comes, it will be during the precise moment between the last mouthfuls of a fine lunch and the arrival of the bill.
Living in France, there are plenty of delightful opportunities to indulge this interest. The lunch addict can try his luck at everything from the three-star temple of gastronomy to the truck-drivers' bistro; each excellent in its own way. And there is something sinful, unworthy, and most enjoyable about these pleasures, particularly when knowing that many are obliged to make do with a sandwich at the desk.
On a more serious note, it was with great pride that Mayle received the distinction of
being made a Chevalier in Légion d'Honneur in 2002.