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July 05, 2006
Pat Fallon's New Book is Worth The Squeeze
Advertising books. There's lots of 'em. I have yet to meet the CEO of an ad agency that didn't think he or she had a book in them.
In truth, most of these books, such as George Lois's "What The Big Idea," Kevin Roberts' "Lovemarks," and Jon Bond's and Richard Kirshenbaum's "Under The Radar" are hardcover leave-behinds for their agencies' new-business pitches. Few, if any, rise to the level of David Ogilvy's "Ogilvy On Advertising."
So this brings me to the latest, "Juicing The Orange," written by Fallon Worldwide chairman/CEO Pat Fallon and his long-time partner Fred Senn. Harvard Business Schhol Press is publisher and it retails for $26.95.
Fallon burst on the scene in the mid 1980s as one of the top indi agencies not in New York. It was in the company of Wieden & Kennedy, Mullen, Goodby Berlin Silverstein and The Richards Group.
Juicing The Orange, naturally, is full of Fallon's best work mixed in with some memoir. The two authors cover worthwhile case studies told from their personal points of view on BMW Films, the Buddy Lee Lee Jeans effort, launching Ted Airlines for United Airlines and rekindling confidence in the big carrier with a new generation of animated advertising, Holday Inn Express, Skoda UK, as well as a chapter on new media.
I especially like memoir moments that talk about how vital it is to make decisions that benefit agency and creative culture. One favorite of mine that Fallon says he has never told before involved Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan. In 1997, Fallon's team was invited to Ann Arbor, MI to pitch the big pizza account. The agency won. But they needed to satisfy a concern of Monaghan, a devoutly conservative Catholic, before signing the contract. Monaghan objected to pro-bono work Fallon had been doing for the Children's Defense Fund. Monaghan objected to the group's liberal bent and felt it was a pro-choice organization. Fallon and Seen went the extra mile to clarify that the CDF did not have a pro-choice position, and even got an official from the National Council of Catholic Bishops to call the marketing director at Domino's and spell out how the CDF did not have a pro-choice position. Monaghan was not swayed, and forced fallon to choose between the CDF and the pizza chain. Fallon made the decision to take a pass on the pizza business, which would have contributed millions of revenue to the agency rather than buckle to the ideology and misinformation embraced by the client. Bravo.
Fallon's agency has been on a tough run with several accounts having left in the last year or so, including BMW. The automaker called for a review of the business after Fallon had handled for a decade, but the chairman opted not to participate in a competition with outside agencies. He had a chance to kepe the business, but felt that the agency's work was strong and worthy of not having to go through a review process and repitch it.
Pat Fallon is a class act, asis Fred Senn, and that class shows through in this book without sounding obnoxious or overly self-promotional. For people in the ad business and marketing a brand, it's a very worthwhile read.
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I'd respect this review on a book even more if it didn't have spelling and capitalization errors.
Posted by: Jordan at January 18, 2007 06:13 PM