Get Smashed (2 stars)

Sam Delaney

(Hodder & Stoughton)


This is the story of the 1960s advertising revolution that led to the shedding of jingles and rigid formulae in favour of a certain whimsy, spurred on by the visions of a handful of people who made a tidy fortune. Sam Delaney chronicles a 20-year period with gushing enthusiasm, detailing the names and excesses of everyone involved. It’s a fun read with some interesting tidbits, but ultimately fails to convince us that anything important actually took place.

He relies heavily on testimonies from retired admen, recalling long afternoons drinking, office fist fights and company Ferraris, all of which quickly becomes repetitive. The book is eventually brought down by its subject matter; reminding us that while advertising may once have been thoroughly exciting, it doesn’t alter its fate. Get Smashed is a nostalgia-fest for what has become the bane of 21st century life.

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