Selected publications

Why Does the Pedlar Sing?

Why Does the Pedlar Sing? What Creativity Really Means in Advertising


This is a fabulous book. …It is possibly the book I would most highly recommend to anyone in marketing.

Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy

Why Does the Pedlar Sing? will be published by Matador in February 2021 as paperback, e-book, and audiobook.

Synopsis here.

If you have the audiobook or ebook version you can download a pdf of the Notes and Bibliography below:

On Brands

What is Brand Equity, Anyway?

A collection of essays (2002) about brands, advertising and research.

Published by WARC. (Out of print, but second-hand copies can usually be found online)

Brand Communications

Chapter 9 in The Economist Book of Brands and Branding (second edition, 2009), edited by Rita Clifton – published by Profile Books.

Defining a Brand

Chapter 1 in Understanding Brands (1991), edited by Don Cowley, published by Kogan Page.

Also reprinted in Readings in Account Planning (2007), edited by Hart Weichselbaum, published by The Copy Workshop, Chicago (new edition currently in press).

What is Brand Equity, Anyway, and how do you measure it?

Award winning paper about Brand Equity.

International Journal of Market Research, 1996, vol 38 no 2.

Reprinted in What Is Brand Equity, Anyway?

'Rebranding without the Onion’ [with Seamus O’Farrell]

Case study of work to rebrand a leading UK charity.

Admap, March 2013, pp 18-21.

Brand = Image
Visual images often define what brands come to mean, from the Lion of Venice to the Nike Swoosh.

Admap, March 2014, pp 20-22.

How Advertising Works

The Anatomy of Humbug: How to Think Differently About Advertising (2015)

‘It’s a great story, and I learned a lot’ – Professor Patrick Barwise, London Business School

How Does Advertising Work?

A pithy summary of what we know.

Published by CREDOS/ Advertising Association in  Advertising’s Big Questions [2017]

'Fifty Years Using the Wrong Model of Advertising’ [with Robert Heath] (2008)

A forceful critique of the dominant ‘message transmission’ model of advertising.

International Journal of Market Research, vol 50 no 1, pp. 29-60.

'Does advertising affect market size?’ [with Simon Broadbent and Tim Ambler] (1998)

International Journal of Advertising, vol 17 no 3, pp. 267-300

'Six Models of Advertising’

A very brief summary of the ways we think advertising works. Admap, March 2015.

A Revolutionary Challenge to Conventional Wisdom

Introduction to a paper by Stephen King, in A Masterclass in Brand Planning: the Timeless papers of Stephen King ( 2007) edited by Baskin and Lannon, pp.107-110

'Campaign Evaluation’ –

Chapter in How to Plan Advertising (second edition) edited by Alan Cooper pp, 101-120

The Defensive Role of Advertising

Chapter in Excellence in Advertising ed. Leslie Butterfield pp. 239-254

Exploding the Message Myth

A talk given at Thinkbox which was for a long time the most downloaded item on their website….

Creativity and the Creative Process

‘Aesthetics, Jugs and Rock and Roll’

A short talk given at TEDx New Street, London in 2009, with some provocative views about the nature of ‘creativity’. View it here

A True Story: the birth of a great campaign

The story of how the famous Barclaycard campaign with Rowan Atkinson came to be. Published in Market Leader in 2005.

What I learnt from John Webster

Extract from John Webster: The Earth People’s Adman, edited by Sarah Carter and printed by DDB London.

John Webster 1934-2006

Account Planning/ Strategy in agencies

Account Planning: Its History and Significance for Ad Agencies

Probably the definitive history of account planning (or, more than you really wanted to know). Published as Chapter 3.3 in The Sage Handbook of Advertising, ed. Tellis and Ambler, 2007.

The Future of Strategy: Account Planning’s Legacy

Admap, Sept 2016

Account Planning: Back to the Future

Market Leader, Q2 2009 pp. 55-57

Advertising and Society

The Advertising Invasion: Drawing the Line in the New Media Age

When does advertising start invading private or public space in an unacceptable way? When it starts wrapping buildings or painting streets silver?  from Market Leader,  Winter 2003, pp. 20-23

Corporate Social Responsibility: Who needs it?

from Market Leader 35, winter 2006, pp. 30-33