Books: Ogilvy on Advertising

Ian Lurie

I’m reading Ogilvy on Advertising right now. If you don’t know him, David Ogilvy was one of, if not the top advertising executive(s) of all time.

His book is inspiring, and very reassuring in many ways, because it looks to me like he got cranky about many of the same things I do. I’m going to post some bits I find particularly interesting, but I highly recommend the book:

“What is a good advertisement? An advertisement which pleases you because of its style, an advertisement which sells the most? They are seldom the same… Creativity strikes me as a high-falutin word for the work I have to do between now and Tuesday.”


“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”

In other words, it’s more important to create sales, than to win awards for creativity.

’nuff said.

Ogilvy on Advertising on

Follow-up Note: I should mention that I’ve read this book before, and return to it often for a renewal of purpose…

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

Start call to action

See how Portent can help you own your piece of the web.

End call to action
Close search overlay