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Learn the key ideas of the book by Ken Auletta


The tools used by advertising to capture consumers

Frenemies takes us on a ride through the world of advertising: from the times of the creative Mad Men (like in the famous TV show!), to Media Men, the ones working in media outlets, and finally getting to the ones who crunch numbers - the Math Men. It is a journey that will help us understand how the relationship has changed between clients and advertising, just like it has between consumers and advertising. Ken Auletta, a famous journalist and critic, shows us everything we need to know about the industry.

Read in 14 min.
Listen in 18 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Learn more about the story behind the advertising industry and its protagonists.
  • Help understand how the advertising industry has changed by adjusting to our way of consuming content.
  • Give a clear idea of the dynamics that govern one of the most controversial areas of media production.

The author of the book:

Ken Auletta is a writer, author of eleven books, including Greed and Glory on Wall Street, World War 3.0 and Googled. A renowned journalist and critic, he has written the Annals of Communications column for the New Yorker since 1992. He has served as a Pulitzer Prize judge, and for three decades has also been a judge of the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Amanda and their daughter.


What's going on with the advertising and marketing industry?

Like the media it supports, the advertising and marketing industry is going through a period of profound change. Companies are forced to sell products without bothering their customers, trying to reach a new generation that is used to dodging advertising and grab the attention of these new customers. All of this in an era where a large supply is on offer, and "mass" audiences are becoming increasingly rare.

This shift from the traditional model to the current one began in the late 1990s, and its impact is evident. In a non-state economy, advertising is seen as the bridge between the producer and the consumer. On the one hand, this bridge is being shaken by consumers, who are increasingly demanding "free" content, and on the other by the advertising industry, without which this content would have no way of existing.

In this book, the author tries to take a look inside this industry, understand its mechanisms and its fate, as well as why this is important to all of us.


The key ideas of "Frenemies"

What's going on with the advertising and marketing industry?
2015: The year of the "storm" in the advertising industry
The digital revolution and the disruption of advertising
Just like in the Mad Men TV show: the changes brought about by the business culture in the 1960s
The figure of the advertising mediator: Michael Kassan and MediaLink
Customers want more transparency
The need for a new generation of advertisers
The transition from TV advertising to Facebook and Google, as Amazon makes its way
The 1990s and the rise of media agencies
The privacy time bomb
2016: the year the consumer becomes a frenemy
Can old media find a new lease of life?
New figures to replace the agency
2016: the first tensions between the advertising people arise
Research on the 2015 declarations and the benefits mediation agencies derive from them
Medialink mediation agency expands
Then came the Math Men
Accepting the challenge of technology to stay in the market
New advertising models
Michael Kassan: the winner of the 2015/2016 turbulence
Take-home message

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