Tom Messner’s Reading List

Tom Messner is a partner at Euro RSCG, and apparently he’s got a lot of time on his hands. Writing in Adweek this week, he plans to spend the next 2 months “reading and possibly absorbing as many of the available marketing books as inhumanly possible.”
Here’s his list, divided into the “Old Testament” and “New Testament” of marketing books:
I’m sure Luke Sullivan would be depressed to think that “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This” is now considered Old Testament. And “Harvard Business Review on The Art of Writing Advertising” ought to make for a nice history lesson.
Of course, “Knock the Hustle” isn’t on Tom’s list, but Hadji Williams has a column of his own, on the opposite facing page from Tom’s, in this week’s Adweek called “The Big Whitewash.” So that’s a nice balance.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. I don’t see Under the Radar in either column. What gives?
    And what’s up with Advertising and Commodity Culture
    in Joyce
    ? That’s some highbrow reading.
    According to Univ. of Florida Press, author Garry Leonard looks in detail at Joyce’s representation of a phenomenon that dominates the contemporary landscape: advertising. Taking readers back to its beginnings, Leonard shows that advertising was a central preoccupation of Joyce, one that helps us unravel his often difficult style.
    Building on the work of cultural theorists like Lacan, Foucault, Baudrillard, Irigiray, and others, Leonard examines commodity culture in Joyce’s work and demonstrates the ways in which characters use (or are used by) modern advertising techniques to make their own identities more intelligible and to fill the Lacanian “permanent lack” of modern identity.
    The commonality of religion and advertising, the use of “kitsch” as a rhetorical device, the commodity market’s exploitation of the proletariat, the role of pornography, the impact of advertising’s “normative” modes of dress and behavior, and the role of the modern city as a modernist trope are all explored as aspects of Joyce’s work or as pressures faced by his characters. As Leonard demonstrates, “culture” in Joyce is the product of a complex response to psychological, sociological, political, economic, and aesthetic pressures. In Joyce, advertising, as a product of that culture, serves both to reinforce the hegemonic discourse of the day and to subvert it.
    Excellent work has been done on aspects of commodity culture in Joyce by writers as diverse as Bonnie Kime Scott, Jennifer Wicke, and Brandon Kershner (Joyce and Popular Culture, UPF, 1996), but Leonard’s is the first comprehensive study of Joyce and the advertising/commodity nexus, certain to be of equal interest to students and scholars of Joyce, modernism, and cultural studies.
    Garry Leonard is associate professor of English at the University of Toronto.