Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising” as Want to Read:
The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  260 ratings  ·  28 reviews
From the former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, the first biography of advertising maverick David Ogilvy

Famous for his colorful personality and formidable intellect, David Ogilvy left an indelible mark on the advertising world, transforming it into a dynamic industry full of passionate, creative individuals. This first-ever biography traces Ogilvy's remarkable life, from his s
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The King of Madison Avenue, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The King of Madison Avenue

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  260 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Mahdi Khosravi
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
ترجمه کتاب رو خوندم نه خودش رو. به نظر میرسید مترجم دل به کار نداده. سرگذشت اگیلوی جالب بود مخصوصا برای افرادی که عجله دارند. مثل ما.
May 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
A decent solid biography of one of the masters of modern advertising. Ogilvy's books are great, but this answers a lot of the questions about his life, where he came from, his relationships with his family, his wives, his coworkers. It talks a lot about his castle in France, which is pretty awesome, and a lot more concretely about his management style and the details of how he ran his agency. If you care mainly about the creative work, and his philosophies on advertising, his own books are proba ...more
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a good book for better understanding who David Ogilvy was. It seems to be very well documented and is objective (pretty often showing facts that contradict what David has been saying).

However, the approach/timeline is rather unclear. Often you get to read about a moment of his life, then you move on, only to come back to the same moment in the next chapter. Otherwise fun to read and lots of things to learn.
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Continuing my dig into advertising world. Reading through Ogilvie books was a logical next step. This book was ok in gaining some historical background. The book reads like a compilation of achievements and who is who in old ad world. Seems little thin about Ogilvie as a person (compared to other bios like Jobs).
Jan 04, 2010 marked it as to-read
BusinessWeek book of the year, biography of Ogilvy
Steven Kaminski
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Curious book. Ogilvy really did so much to shape the way we see many modern brands through his ad copy, writing, ideas for TV commercials and radio. He actually followed in his older brother's footsteps going into marketing and advertising after serving with British intelligence in WW II. He moved to the United States and set up shop in New York and aggressively went on to build relationships with companies and clients. He was really eccentric though. He once went to dinner at a restaurant only ...more
Alex Herder
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I knew nothing about Ogilvy and that period in advertising, so for filling those gaps I am eternally grateful. I didn't want to get into quite as much detail as the author seemed to want me to, but overall I'm very glad to have read this biography. Anyone who runs a company, sells anything, or works in advertising should absolutely read this. Even if it does drag a bit towards the end. :D
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tony Seel
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good biography from an insider at Ogilvy & Mather.
Leader Summaries
Desde Leader Summaries recomendamos la lectura del libro David Ogilvy, de Kenneth Roman.
Las personas interesadas en las siguientes temáticas lo encontrarán práctico y útil: marketing y ventas, publicidad y relaciones públicas, análisis de empresas y líderes de éxito.
En el siguiente enlace tienes el resumen del libro David Ogilvy, La biografía del inventor de la publicidad tal y como hoy la conocemos: David Ogilvy
Asher Wen
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Comprehensive look at the life of David Ogilvy and the decisions that he made, both good and bad. The book offers a balanced view of the man, and was not hesitant in talking about the shortcomings of the legend. At the same time, however, the book often furnishes too much details that are not as relevant to the man himself which I thought could be skipped to keep it more concise.

Altogether, it is a good outside view of the man himself from an author who has interacted and worked with the legend
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it
This book much like David Ogilvys career in Advertising starts off like a whirlwind and is full of interesting stories and thoughts on advertising. And then like the second half of his career it's like a flickering candle that get's dimmer but refuses to go out. The first half of this book is well worth reading, the second half meanders and repeats without much point. The trick is knowing when to stop reading it. I didn't learn that trick and stuck with it to the very slow and boring end. A mist ...more
D.G. Chichester
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
A bit dry, but still full of interesting and "human" observations about the famous owner of the famous ad agency. having worked there for many years I found the combo of facts and frailties illuminating. It gave me a useful perspective - and in some cases admiration - for what was "luck" and what was accomplished. Probably more in the zone for folks in the industry or interested in marketing history.
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it
A hodgepodge of anecdotes of a great ad man. However, I always felt dissociated from his quirkiness and his regal British upbringing. The author plays him out to be a god, with his eccentric behavior being something more of a whimsical attribute than an awkward need for constant attention. Some humanity would help me connect to this Mary Sue character the biographer has painted of an obviously flawed human being.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I did not know much about Ogilvy and I do not come from the advertising business. So this was super educational even though it bogged down in some places. This is an interesting bio and it includes some of Ogilvy's insight. But to really get the benefit of this man's wisdom you have to go read his own writing which I now am.
Benjamin Jozef de Leon
The book is a treasure trove of dos and donts for those aiming to set up a service oriented business.

It is even more valuable in the hands of an individual who wants to start their own ad agency.

The words that came out of David's mouth were brilliant and witty! I am glad Roman vividly shared them with us.
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting. Seemingly objective, but would have liked it to be more so. The anecdote at the end was top rate, highlighting a lack elsewhere. More details of idiosyncrasies would surely have improved it. But nevertheless, a fine book.
Michael Graber
This biography of David Ogilvy paints a vital portrait of an amazingly brilliant leader and creative soul. Well written, objective, and compassionate, The King of Madison Avenue charts the rise and fall of the Creative Revolution through one colorful life.
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very interesting look into the life of David Ogilvy. Focus spans from his childhood through the years he spent in his French country mansion prior to his death. Interesting, inspiring. If you like Mad Men, this book is a must read.
Andy Murray
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good for anyone who is a student of advertising history or in the trade.

This is really about David Ogilvy the man vs. a book on advertising. An enjoyable read for anyone in the Ad business.
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for anyone who has ever considered getting into the commercial persuasion business. Its presented from a very personal point-of-view, offering a great perspective on the life of one of the worlds most prolific "mad-men".
Laura Auricchio
Jan 06, 2010 marked it as to-read
I don't generally read books about advertising, but I heard the author, Ken Roman, speak last night and was taken with his understated sense of humor and flair for a good tale. So I'm looking forward to reading this.
Fred Sampson
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I wanted to learn more about one of the most famous, most influential, advertising leaders, and got what I wanted. Plenty of pithy quotes and food for thought.
Damla Kaan
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Pat Doyle
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating. True. Amazing. The guy was brilliant, flawed and driven. If you like anything about the ad world, you'll like this book.
Martin Bihl
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
Please see my review in Advertising Age:

and also see my review here:
Ankur Sharma
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
An engaging and objectively written biography by a person who was very close to Ogilvy. Tells you a great deal about Modern Advertising and the man who shaped it!
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
David Ogilvy is my spirit animal. I love you, I love you, I love you.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2012
Wayne DeWald
rated it really liked it
Jul 01, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Execution Factor: The One Skill That Drives Success
  • The Penguin and the Leviathan: The Triumph of Cooperation Over Self-Interest
  • The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems
  • Culturematic: How Reality TV, John Cheever, a Pie Lab, Julia Child, Fantasy Football . . . Will Help You Create and Execute Breakthrough Ideas
  • A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Create Extraordinary Products for Tomorrow's Customers
  • Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn't Be Done
  • Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation: What They Can't Teach You at Business or Design School
  • Baked In: Creating Products and Businesses That Market Themselves
  • Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice
  • A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business
  • Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers Are Creators
  • Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
  • Cultural Strategy: Using Innovative Ideologies to Build Breakthrough Brands
  • The $10 Trillion Prize: Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India
  • Do You Matter? How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company
  • The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free
  • The Idea Hunter: How to Find the Best Ideas and Make Them Happen
See similar books…
“Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead,” 2 likes
“Bill Phillips, one of his successors as chairman, captured the spirit in his mantra: “Work hard. Play hard. Sleep fast.” 0 likes
More quotes…