From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: front-line dispatches from the advertising war by Jerry Della Femina

by |October 15, 2010

It was a meeting of the agency’s top people to find an advertising theme for Panasonic, a major new Japanese electronics firm. Suddenly the new $50,000-a-year creative supervisor leapt to his feet in a frenzy of simulated inspiration.

“I’ve got it!” he cried, “I see this big headline: FROM THOSE WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO GAVE YOU PEARL HARBOR!“

From the publishers that brought you Homicide comes another classic piece of writing that inspired a hit TV show.

Mad Men is the series that’s got everyone talking—and with good reason, having won 9 Emmys, 5 Golden Globes and beating The Wire to the ‘Best International Award’ at the 2009 Baftas.

Jerry Della Femina’s advertising classic, first published in the US in 1971, is the original guide to life on Madison Avenue in the 1960s—and it was an inspiration for series one of Mad Men, with Jerry an advisor to the show.

Packed full of eccentric characters and interesting anecdotes it is a gloriously gossipy and irreverent account. It is also full of fascinating advertising campaigns: the Volkswagen “Think Small” campaign which gave the company their big break in the US; the cake mix which relied on the breaking of a single egg; or Marlboro Man in Marlboro Country—an all time classic.

With a new Mad Men inspired cover and a campaign to rival those of Madison Avenue this is the non-fiction treat of the summer.

Trailer for the US Edition:

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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