May 18, 2007


There’s a competition running on BBC Radio 5 Live where listeners are invited to submit a recording of themselves reviewing a film. Having heard some of them, the effort has reinforced my view that reviews of anything (books, films) created by the general public are cock.
Just read some of the rubbish on Amazon. The book reviews by readers are supposedly one of the retailer’s strengths. But there are so many semi-literate (judging by the shocking spelling and grammar) people contributing, that one wonders how they managed to read the books at all.
All which makes me wary of writing my own review. I’m going to try and avoid the pseudo intellectualising that’s a characteristic of many reviews by simply pointing out what this book does for me.
There are two things George Parker does that make me laugh out loud. One is his well-targeted polemics in his AdScam blog, and the other is the shameless plugging of his book, MadScam, at any opportunity. Well, this is the ad business after all.
If there’s one regret I had when reading the book (I finished it last week) is that it’s short on swearing, but I guess that fruity Anglo-Saxon wouldn’t have gone down too well in the US.
I still think of myself as an outsider in advertising (about 40% of my working life being spent in the sector), and I am still baffled at how and why certain people in the industry still try to envelop themselves in a cloak of mystery.
MadScam, initially aimed at businesses with nascent marketing strategies, had me chuckling because – at last – I was being told that some of my observations (mostly about witch-doctoring with the sole purpose of extracting money for nothing) were right all along. There is just the right amount of coverage of the various media - what works and what doesn't - which also explains some of the jargon I've long hated. One tiny caveat (mainly for George, rather than the reader) is that with the fast-evolving new media, he'll have to update the book quickly and frequently.
Who should read it: anyone studying business and wanting an honest view of what is occasionally seen as an afterthought of business operations; newcomers to the ad industry; people working in big agencies.
Who shouldn’t read it: people working in big agencies who think they’ll be doing the same job in five years’ time.

See also: Good taste

1 comment:

George Parker said...

Chimps... Thanks for the kind words. The original manuscript was laced with profanity... The publisher made me take them out. Wankers.