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Mad Ave Must Have

If you're an ad geek like me (and you wouldn't be on this web site if you weren't) you might be afflicted with an ad book fetish. Well, get ready to squeeze a new tome on the bookshelf MAD AVE: Award Winning Advertising of the 20th Century.

It's an archival retrospective from the granddaddy of all creative organizations--The New York Art Directors Club. Founded back in 1920, this ad club probably has more right to a greatest hits book than group in the ad universe. However, I haven't seen it and, frankly, I'm a little suspicious of it. Why? Well, it's only 256 pages long and measures (in inches) 1.21 x 9.78 x 7. Yeah, yeah, I know size doesn't matter. But consider the fact that it's padded with essays by a dozen or so of the usual suspects (yes, Della Femina and George Lois are included) and you wonder how much space is left for the award winning ads the title promises.

Though the book has been out since July, I noticed on the Art Directors Club site that they're having an invitation only launch party September 20th. I guess that's to accommodate the vacation schedules of the essayists. The way ad books sell, I suspect it might be half way on its way to the remainder pile by then. I know volumes in my collection like "Bill Bernbach's Book," and even George Lois' last press release in book form "What's the Big Idea" didn't stick around beyond their first press run. So if you're interested, snap it up. I know I probably will, despite my misgivings. It lists for $39.95 (yikes) but I've seen it as low as $23.97 at AllDirect.com. Obviously greatness has a price.

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