It's advertising, but not as you know it: the warmly nostalgic and brilliantly depicted story of a life a world away from Mad Men by the acclaimed author of 32 Programmes and The Bromley Boys.
All Dave Roberts ever wanted to do (apart from collect football programmes) was to work in advertising. More specifically, to work for the world's best advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi. There was just one problem. Even when he managed to persuade someone to employ him, Dave's copywriting assignments were mainly for second hand car dealers and double glazing companies. And Leeds, Manchester and, bizarrely, New Zealand were a long way from Charlotte Street and Madison Avenue. This was the world of the Sad Men.
In his sparkling new memoir, Dave tells the story of a life shaped by his love of adverts, from seeing the PG Tips chimps at the age of three to writing infamous ads such as the Westpac Rap and having David Jason plug a family restaurant. Bursting with brilliant ideas - and some pretty daft ones - it is the cautionary tale of a quest for advertising glory... and not quite ever getting there.
“Told with wit, warmth and an obsessive eye to detail that I have not seen since Nick Hornby was writing about pop music, Sad Men is both a brilliant memoir about a lifetime obsession with advertising and a heartfelt, curiously moving book that roams the world but always returns to the fantasies that were created by smart people trying to sell us stuff. Forget Don Draper - Dave Roberts is the world's favourite ad man.”
“Witty, wry and self-deprecating. Go buy!”
“An insightful, eye-opening and often eye-wateringly funny tale.”
“If you wish to discover what kind of mad man becomes an ad man, the answers are to be found in Sad Men.”
Roger Lewis, Daily Mail, Book of the Week
“Genuinely enlightening... what is most surprising about the book, and the "obsession" detailed within, is just how moving and sympathetic it proves. There's a tendency to think of advertising as an intensely cynical industry, but what Roberts' story illustrates is that there is often an artistic impulse and integrity at play as well. More than this, Sad Men takes one of the bugbears of contemporary entertainment, product placement, and uses it in the most sincere and even heartfelt fashion.”
“A heart-warming memoir.”
“Brilliant... always hilarious, and often wonderfully English. You'll love Dave... he's got real passion and drive. Funny and heartfelt.”
“Within the first few pages I was hooked... hard to put down.”