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George Parker: why we should pay attention to Faris Yacob’s new book Paid Attention

unnamed-4With the publication of his first book, Paid Attention – Innovative Advertising for a Digital World, Faris Yacob (left) has created a blinder. Which, for the benefit of the American hoi-poloi out there, is Brit-Chat for “blinder.” Full disclosure… He’s also a mate, but as he well knows, I will not go easy on him if I think he is trying to sell us a pseudo-blinder. Fortunately, he isn’t.

Although his tome is cloaked in the kind of esoteric language that requires ready access to a 24 volume, unabridged edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, the essence of it is brilliant. He delineates and identifies the constantly changing, La Brea Tar Pit-like landscape within which the poor sods of today have to operate, compared to when I first started out and the choice was papyrus or clay tablets.

More than that, he suggests logical methods of approaching possible solutions to the current conundrum… Yes, logical fucking solutions. When was the last time you heard that applied to the ad biz?

On page six he writes… “The objectives of commercial communications are to influence mass opinion and behavior.” Oh my God, David Ogilvy couldn’t have expressed it better. “Homage of the Century” to Faris for that. Then on the last page of his epic, his advice to people just entering the biz… “Don’t worry too much… It’s only advertising after all.” Ha, yes indeed. Faris has “homaged” that from me when in the past I have advised young ad wankers not to get their knickers in a twist about the size of the fucking logo, ‘cos… “It will never hang on the walls of the Louvre.” Forego a couple of pints and buy Faris’s book.

It’s meatier than my old mum’s black puddings. “Eh, even the white bits were black.” Homage to Eric Olthwaite there! Pay attention.

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