Billed as a ""user's manual for understanding the media around you,"" authors Verklin and Kanner (1949-2006) deliver a largely stale barrage of data-laced anecdotes outlining the techniques that marketing and advertising pros employ to capture your attention and dollars. Verklin, CEO of the independent media buying firm Carat, and Kanner, a marketing expert and author (The Super Bowl of Advertising), test the stability of old media marketing pillars-newspaper ads, television ratings services, blocks of TV commercials-and find they're collapsing under pressure from online services like Craigslist and commercial-excising technology like Tivo. At the same time, the authors demonstrate the marketing bonanza available to firms willing to push the envelope. Examples of niche marketing and experimental strategies for it abound: Google has diversified, using not just a search engine, but maps, e-mail, spreadsheets and the like to deliver customers to its advertisers; the U.S. Army has made video games the 21st century recruitment poster; and even the venerable New Yorker recently experimented with a lone-advertiser model, in which Target bought an entire issue's worth of ads. Unfortunately, this book doesn't pull back the curtain very far. This catalog of trends is more like a paean to the industry than a look inside it, with pedestrian observations (Wikipedia as ""Darwinian process,"" ""the embodiment of the Web's potential and a roadmap for knowledge creation"") filling in for fresh insight.