Book Reviews: Mad About Advertising

mad men season 6 poster

Season 6 of Mad Men premieres on Sunday, April 7, and most people at Fuqua will be watching. One of the most popular TV shows of all time, the plot focuses on the Madison Avenue advertising agency Sterling Cooper Draper Price, particularly Don Draper and the people in his life. The show documents societal changes and specific events from the 60’s, which is entertaining for the young but especially meaningful to those who lived through that era.

In recognition of Mad Men’s new season, here are 6 new books in the Ford Library about the world of advertising:

Mad women by Jane Maas.
Depicting the real lives of women working in the New York advertising world of the 1960’s and 70’s, Jane Maas outlines her own career, beginning in 1964 as a copywriter for Ogilvy & Mather, rising to creative director and agency officer, then ultimately, president of a New York agency. Also available as an audiobook.
I’d rather be in charge by Charlotte Beers.
Charlotte Beers chronicles her successes and missteps in her trailblazing career in the advertising industry, as she advises women who face their own workplace challenges in achieving positions of leadership. Read the full review. Also available as a single-user e-book and an audiobook.
The Daily You by Joseph Turow.
Advertisers and media companies peek into the lives individual consumers through browser searches, smartphones and social marketing sites to assess the backgrounds, plans, activities and relationships of individuals and separate them into categories based on their financial attractiveness.

Soap, sex, and cigarettes by Juliann Sivulka – An entertaining exploration of advertising 1942- 2010, including how the industry grew in the U.S., how brands were created and promoted, and how advertisers introduce cultural trends and reflect social issues.

Advertisers at work by Tracy Tuten – interviews with 18 advertising leaders – company founders, creative directors and presidents — cover their backgrounds, successes and challenges, aspirations and directions of the industry.

Advertising for people who don’t like advertising by KesselsKramer (firm) – People who don’t like traditional advertising will probably appreciate it more after reading this odd book of experimental, rather incomprehensible and somewhat disturbing work.

Postscript: for a fun read, Mad Men fans should also see 20th century fashion: 100 years of apparel ads (Heimann and Nieder, 2009).  Organized by decade and heavily illustrated, the book contains 400 sketched and photographed fashion advertisements that convince consumers that to be a success, one must be fashionable.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

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