Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)

Ken Auletta. Penguin, $30 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7352-2086-7
New Yorker media critic Auletta (Googled) masterfully maps the rapidly evolving topography of the advertising industry. Once a freewheeling, three-martini-lunch, money-flowing industry, advertising has undergone drastic changes in the decades since the Mad Men era, particularly since the advent of the Internet, and Auletta ably traces the dramatic shifts. He profiles executives at established powerhouses, such as MediaLink’s Michael Kassan and Wenda Millard, WPP’s Martin Sorrell, and GroupM’s Irwin Gotlieb, as well as newer power players, such as Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s v-p of global marketing. Perhaps most prescient is Auletta’s spot-on analysis of the interplay between traditional and social media, including traditional-media executives’ concerns over the tremendous amount of data available to Facebook and Twitter and the competitive edge it brings to those platforms over long-standing outlets like TV and magazines (not to mention the related privacy concerns.) Other fascinating topics include how efforts such as Citibank’s Citi Bike bike-sharing program in New York City and YouTube Red represent new forms of advertising; how Facebook fell prey to Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election; and how smartphones have revolutionized advertising. Intelligent and well researched, Auletta’s lively survey serves as an excellent primer to a brave new world. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2018
Release date: 06/05/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Audio Product - 978-0-00-829702-2
Ebook - 978-0-7352-2087-4
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-7352-2088-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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