This blogger skimmed “Madboy” by Richard Kirshenbaum, published in 2011. This ebook is mostly a name-dropping brag-fest.
Granted, the author does have bragging rights as an adman and did provide numerous tips on acquiring clients and maintaining good client relations, and described what it was like working in the ad industry in the 1980’s and 1990’s. But the first anecdote about a major business decision that resulted in a large financial loss, appeared almost halfway through this book. The author did gloze over a few mini-fails prior to that. However, this blogger thinks a career memoir need not put a happy face on every negative story, as though the author is in a job interview. He should be more introspective. Kirshenbaum seemed a tad insecure, and both he and his wife seemed easily starstruck. This blogger is not impressed that he has met and worked with dozens of celebrities in the last few decades.
The author recounted one amusing anecdote involving indecency during a camera shoot in Mississippi. He also made a few rather unfortunate statements:
- Witty ads for his agency’s first client mentioned politicians famous in the 1980’s, that he said, “…captured the public’s attention, as it hadn’t seen this kind of creativity in the advertising business before.” Doubtful. There is nothing new under the sun.
- About social networking: “…where now consumers actually control the conversation about brands and have honest and controversial conversations about a company’s brand preferences.” See http://educationanddeconstruction.com/?p=4180
- Kirshenbaum believes American consumers are fiercely brand-loyal and “…the rise of social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) influence them.” Again, see http://educationanddeconstruction.com/?p=4180
Read the book to learn of some of the big-name people Kirshenbaum met through the years, the campaigns and entities he spearheaded, places to which he traveled, what he learned from whom, and what became of his agency.