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The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR
by Al Ries, Laura Ries
ISBN 0060081988 / 9780060081980 / 0-06-008198-8
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In The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, longtime marketing strategist Al Ries and his daughter/business partner Laura Ries offer solid arguments championing the latter over the former for modern-day brand building. Such a stance is hardly new for these two, who have jointly, individually, and with others written eight previous books on related topics since Al penned The Positioning Era Cometh for Advertising Age some three decades ago. What's fresh this time is the dissection of contemporary corporate hits--like Starbucks, Botox, eBay, and even Harry Potter--that have eschewed traditional advertising and nevertheless soared to the top through the savvy use of public relations. The authors spend the first part of the book discussing how advertising lost credibility among consumers as it became more of a creative art than a sales tool, and the second part showing how PR subsequently supplanted it in effectiveness. Using the above examples and others, they explain how such practices can work in various situations (building a new brand, rebuilding an old one, dealing with line extensions, etc.), as well as ways advertising can still be usefully employed (primarily to maintain a brand and "keep it on course"). The result is both provocative and practical. --Howard Rothman [via]