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A unique personality . . .
"Ogilvy, the creative force of modern advertising." The New York Times
"Ogilvy's sharp, iconoclastic personality has illuminated the industry like no other ad man's." Adweek. .
an acclaimed author.
Praise for Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
"A writing style that snaps, crackles, and pops on every page." The Wall Street Journal.
"An entertaining and literate book that can serve as a valuable primer on advertising for any businessman or investor." Forbes.
"I remembered how my grandfather had failed as a farmer and become a successful businessman. Why not follow in his footsteps? Why not start an advertising agency? I was thirty-eight. . . .no credentials, no clients, and only $6,000 in the bank."
Whatever David Ogilvy may have lacked in money and credentials, he more than made up for with intelligence, talent, and ingenuity. He became the quintessential ad man, a revolutionary whose impact on his profession still reverberates today. His brilliant campaigns went beyond successful advertising, giving rise to such pop culture icons as the famous Hathaway shirt man with his trademark black eyepatch. His client list runs the gamut from Rolls Royce to Sears Roebuck, Campbell's Soup to Merrill Lynch, IBM to the governments of Britain, France, and the United States.
How did a young man who had known poverty as a child in England, worked as a cook in Paris, and once sold stoves to nuns in Scotland climb to the pinnacle of the fast-paced, fiercely competitive world of advertising? Long before storming Madison Avenue, David Ogilvy's life had already had its share of colorful experiences and adventure. Now, this updated edition of David Ogilvy's autobiography presents his extraordinary life story and its many fascinating twists and turns.
Born in 1911, David Ogilvy spent his first years in Surrey (Beatrix Potter's uncle lived next door, and his niece was a frequent visitor). His father was a classical scholar who had played rugby for Cambridge. "My father . . . did his best to make me as strong and brainy as himself. When I was six, he required that I should drink a tumbler of raw blood every day. When that brought no result, he tried beer. To strengthen my mental faculties, he ordered that I should eat calves' brains three times a week. Blood, brains, and beer: a noble experiment." Before marrying, his mother had been a medical student.
When World War I brought economic disaster to the family, they were forced to move in with relatives in London. Scholarships to boarding school and Oxford followed, and then, fleeing academia, Ogilvy set out on the at times surprising, at times rocky road to worldwide recognition and success. His remarkable journey would lead the ambitious young man to America where, with George Gallup, he ran a polling service for the likes of Darryl Zanuck and David O. Selznick in Hollywood; to Pennsylvania, where he became enamored with the Amish farming community; and back to England to work for British Intelligence with Sir William Stephenson. Along the way, with the help of his brother, David Ogilvy secured a job with Mather and Crowther, a London advertising agency. The rest is history.
An innovative businessman, a great raconteur, a genuine legend in his own lifetime, David Ogilvy is one of a kind. So is his autobiography.
About the Author
DAVID OGILVY is the founder of Ogilvy & Mather, one of the top ten advertising agencies in the world. Mr. Ogilvy lives at the Chateau de Touffou in Bonnes, France.
Table of Contents
I Become a Chef in Paris.
New York and Hollywood.
A Very Large Rural Monastery.
Fame and Fortune.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel.
A Forest Full of Surprises.
List of Clients.