I hope you’ll forgive me a brief bask in the news that The Fame Formula has crept back up the Amazon charts and is currently at number 4 in the Film and Performing Arts Bestseller list, as well as moving slowly back into the running in the overall chart.
It certainly seems like the Fame Formula is finding a life of its own again – I’ve recently received a number of emails and tweets from people who like the book. I’m humbled by their praise – and intrigued by one tweet that insists that the book has more to say about the ad industry than most books actually about the ad industry.
I suspect that this may have something to do with the corporatisation of the industry – there have always been interesting people in both PR and advertising but as the money gets bigger, so the personalities and the opportunities for risk-taking reduce.
Mad Men, which is starting on the BBC again, is proof of the changes that have been wrought, but it’s a shame that the fictional world this excellent show portrays has obscured the real characters who created the industry. They seem so utterly real – and make real ad men seem insubstantial by comparison.
The Fame Formula is a celebration of the huge characters of PR, of the risk-takers who built the business up. It would be good to see something, be it book or documentary, that gives a greater focus on the real characters of the advertising industry too.