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Confessions of a Mad Man [Kindle Edition]

George Parker , Barbara Lippert , Chris Parker
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99
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  • Length: 152 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

One of the few surviving “Mad Men,” George Parker has lived through more than forty profligate, debauched and decadent years in the world’s second oldest profession. This is a guy who has seen it all and done it all. And a great deal of what he has seen and done would make the current TV show; “Mad Men,” look like Sesame Street. Unless Kermit is caught with his pants down banging Miss Piggy on the PBS boardroom table. Ah, the good old days… Sex, drugs, rock & roll and a bit of advertising thrown in for good measure… Names will be named, scandals will be exposed, and no one will escape. It’s all in here. It’s advertising as you always imagined it.

Product Details

  • File Size: 397 KB
  • Print Length: 152 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Parker Consultants; 1 edition (July 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,769 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was the first book I ever read on computer and July 21, 2011
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was prepared to dislike it even though the price is the lowest I have paid for a book since Amboy Dukes. I was prepared to dislike it because its title is so derivative (which is to say somebody else is using it). But the author produces the best advertising blog, one of the few that doesn't bubble over with bloggorrhea or self-congratulation and the book is really an uncondensed, unvarnished version of that blog. He captures the period (1960s to 1980s in the advertising business) perfectly and demonstrates that the business prior to public offerings, mergers, consolidation, media buying separated from the creative and production of work, quarterly statements, worldwide pitches run by new business consultants was, if not better, at least one in which the largesse which now goes into management fees to senescent HQs used to go into perfectly shaken martinis, bonuses for the proletariat, and suites with turn down service for the traveling copywriters. If the author seeks absolution through his Confessions, this reader has a perfect penance: three Our Fathers and three Beefeater Martinis with a twist shaken to cold perfection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Douchenozzles Beware August 5, 2011
George Parker has a lived a Hemingway-like life in Advertising. He even looks like the guy, from the grizzled beard right on down to the even more grizzled liver.

So it's nice to hear that there was a time when life in Advertising wasn't always about wage freezes and downsizing.

"Confessions" is about a lot of things: It's about breaking into the business. It's about surviving the business. And it's about finding a way to get the hell out of the business. It's also about the most enjoyable book you'll ever read on the subject.

The thing that makes this book so much fun to read is George himself. He's the first to admit the advertising business has, and never has had much integrity. No, what gets his goat is that money-grubbing holding companies have ransacked the very industry that allowed him, nay, paid him dearly to booze, womanize, travel -- and when he wasn't doing that -- create great advertising for a living.

George also takes no prisoners. His assault on a business that has been pillaged by rich and greedy bean counters who have more in common with flesh eating bacteria than they do with actual humans is a thing of beauty.

At the same time, George's sympathies for the Creatives that are sacrificed by gross mismanagement and narcissism are real. And he's genuinely sad that they will never have the outrageous (and oft times illicit) experiences that he had coming up through the ranks. That's the softer side of George -- if calling the Chairman of one of advertising's largest holding companies, The Poisoned Dwarf, can be considered soft.

All in all, this is a great, entertaining read for anyone in the industry or outside. Oh, and if by chance you find yourself skewered in this book, my advice is to just suck it up and move on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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George Parker is many things to many people: seasoned copywriter, advertising survivor, blogger...
but in this book, he is a storyteller, and not one of the Aesops Fables 'alls well that ends well' variety. This is more like Phillip K Dick storytelling ...
bad people doing bad things storytelling, the kind that rivets you to your seat, book, Kindle, iPad - whatever - firmly gripped in sweaty hands.

But he tells this tale with such ease and humor that it makes the advertising world seem like a fun place to be. And that's where he gets you ...
amidst all the romping across the globe to shoot spots for bidet cleansers, late night bull session carousing, and exacerbating round table campaign meetings, he carefully delivers the point:
it's a hard way to make a living, populated by an interesting assortment of characters, most of them rather incompetent yet powerful, and you.

A thoroughly enjoyable read for practitioner or apprentice alike, I'll close with 3 good reasons to read this book:

1: He's been there
2: He's done that
3: He's lived to tell the tale accurately and amusingly ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written and edited March 3, 2013
By KttyMew
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I don't know if the actual book was edited any better than the Kindle version, but it was so laden with typos and bad grammar, it was as if it was published with no editing whatsoever. I couldn't finish it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bio of A Rockstar Mad Man January 7, 2013
George Parker's book is a rollicking tale revealing what the Mad Men (in the popular TV series, or "Advertising Men" in Ogilvy parlance) were up to beyond the "drama" in the office. Often this type of book is the gospel of the managing partner at the ad agency as part of their campaign to be acquired by a larger agency. That's not this book - it would be at home right next to your biographies of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger or other Rockers leaving a trail of alcohol, cocaine, ruined vehicles, and one hell of a good time.

Disclaimer: like many rock bios the language is not safe for work. Mr. Parker clearly calls out the f***tards, dou*** nozzles and wank3rs (Amazon tolerates no profanity in reviews) with no fear. Anyone in Advertising or Marketing is well familiar with the tired statement that "half of all your marketing spend is wasted, you just can't tell which half." This book makes it clear (and the author has no problem telling his major accounts) that more like 90% of it is wasted, much of it on booze, 5 Star restaurants and junkets around the globe to capture video for 30 second spots, the majority of which ends up on the cutting room floor.

This is a fantastic book covering an amazing expanse - from his riding over to the US via ocean liner and meeting Ogilvy himself to get into the industry, through a stint back in Europe as "Agency Fireman" back to the Bay Area during the pre-internet explosion fueled by Dell, Compaq, Larry Ellison, the first coming of Jobs, and others. The stories are humorous and astounding - my favorite was the author, his buddy, and his pilot getting drunk and crashing their plane into the ocean and nearly dying while trying to get a shot for a cookie ad. Wrapping up with commentary on social media and the future of the industry, this is the most entertaining book you'll find on the subject.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Martini's and Douchnozzles
After discovering George Parker's blog and quickly becoming a huge fan of his writing it was only natural to buy this book. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Tony Mariani
5.0 out of 5 stars Flew right through this book
Love'd it. And thats why I gave it 5 stars. George knows how to tell a story. This was my first Kindle Edition book too.
Published on February 18, 2013 by Donovan
1.0 out of 5 stars Self indulgent twaddle
Atrociously written, horribly repetitive, and devoid of any evidence of actual talent on the part of the author. This is easily the worst book ever written on advertising. Read more
Published on January 3, 2013 by tiktok
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun autobiography of life as an advertising creative
George Parker spins a very entertaining tale of his life in advertising during the earlier days of modern advertising, covering the same time period as much of the Mad Men... Read more
Published on November 13, 2012 by George Pytlik
5.0 out of 5 stars Best $4.99 I've spent all year...
I'm not in advertising. In fact I'm about as far away from the field as possible (aside from watching Madmen).

This book is funny. Really funny. Read more
Published on November 15, 2011 by Michael Weitz
5.0 out of 5 stars A good taking.
Im no princess. And Ive certainly been told my share of war stories from veteran ad folks. So I was skeptical as to what Mr Parker could unveil that would keep me tuned in to his... Read more
Published on August 7, 2011 by MR
5.0 out of 5 stars Like AdScam, only more personal and longer
People in advertising love to make sweeping statements about the business.

Legendary creative director Phil Dusenberry, for example, once said, "Advertising is the... Read more
Published on August 2, 2011 by Curvin O'Rielly
5.0 out of 5 stars The inimitable George Parker rides again!
First, I have a confession to make. Not owning a Kindle or Ipad (I gave mine away in a contest for one of my own books), I had to borrow a friend's Kindle and read George's... Read more
Published on July 31, 2011 by Steffan R. Postaer
4.0 out of 5 stars 15 pages
I am only 15 pages into this confessional and I am already sold. So, if this was an ad ,you got me. I'm hooked. As an Art Director, I hate the excessive use of words. Read more
Published on July 28, 2011 by peter nicholson
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