Often Wrong, Never in Doubt: Unleash the Business Rebel Within

Donny Deutsch, Author, Peter Knobler, With with Peter Knobler. Collins $24.95 (260p) ISBN 978-0-06-056718-7

In 1983, Deutsch joined his father's small New York City advertising agency and, over the next two decades, built its annual billings to $1.5 billion. In 2000, he sold the company for $280 million and jumped into media, creating a film production company and hosting a CNBC talk show. There's a lesson or two worth hearing in this story, but readers will have to work to find them in the midst of Deutsch's bluster. True to the book's title, he delivers contradictory ideas with equal forcefulness—as when he denounces cigarette and video game advertising as socially irresponsible, yet holds up his agency's campaigns for Tanqueray and drugs as great successes ("The amount of money we made advertising pharmaceuticals was staggering"). In the chapter "It All Comes Back to Babes," he delivers this new low for the business genre: "I'm not going to fuck somebody for business... unless she's really hot. Why not? I'd fuck her if we weren't doing business." Yet he astutely argues, in a chapter on the "Hungry-Eye Hiring Theory," that the most productive employees are often a little angry; they've got "something to prove." Hit and miss, this book suggests that, in advertising at least, the quest for success is best fueled by arrogance and testosterone. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/08/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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