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The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture 

Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant (Knopf)

On the cover of The Age of Persuasion is a cow and a no-name sneaker. Between the two images sits a sentence: “Remember when cows wore brands and you wore sneakers?” It’s with that thought that Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant---researchers, writers and producers of CBC Radio’s series The Age of Persuasion---open the history books of advertising and chronicle how society has progressed from simple media to multimedia; program sponsorship to ad clutter. Filled with anecdotes of successful---and not so--marketing campaigns, O’Reilly and Tennant intelligently argue that advertisers often break the “implicit contract between advertisers and consumers which…promises that advertisers must give you something in exchange for their imposition on your time, attention and space.” The Age of Persuasion is well worth a read, if only to learn what current entertainment was created specifically for ad campaigns: Guinness World Records and the Tour de France, to name just a couple.


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