Ken Auletta

Pub date
Trade Paperback 153x234mm
368 pages

Book Overview

In Frenemies, Ken Auletta uncovers an industry in crisis from the perspective of its most powerful players, from Sir Martin Sorrell to Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s Head of Sales. The survival of most media and internet companies depends on the revenue generated by advertising and marketing, yet few other businesses have been so dramatically challenged in the digital age. Gone are the days of Don Draper as Mad Men becomes Math Men (and only occasionally women), and an instinctive art is transformed into an ever-changing science.

Former allies have become competitors and accusations of kickbacks and corruption swirl. ‘Frenemies’ are rife as trust disintegrates and up-and-coming creatives clash with seasoned veterans. And all the while, Facebook and Google continue to cause disruption.

With the consumer in greater control and the ongoing threats posed by technological changes and ad-free services, Auletta reflects on how this economically essential industry must adapt if it is to survive.

About the author

Ken Auletta is the author of eleven books, including Greed and Glory on Wall Street, World War 3.0 and Googled. He is a renowned journalist and critic, having written the ‘Annals of Communications’ column for The New Yorker since 1992.

He lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.


“Auletta works hard to get us to care about the fate of ad folks, despite our diminished interest in them or our distaste for what they do, because of their essential role as suppliers of the dollars that fuel the media ecosystem. If you “follow the money,” he writes, you’ll understand the importance of advertising and the significance of the threats against it, and maybe value it more, or at least disdain it less.” New York Times

“[A] timely dive into an industry in tumult … Auletta, a veteran New York writer who has covered both Wall Street and the media for decades, does a remarkable job of digging into the personalities and the covert deals.” Financial Times

“This is an insightful, well-observed, colourful book that should be essential reading for anyone who is interested in the advertising industry” Campaign

“Now more than ever, advertising is the lifeblood that sustains most journalism, television, and entertainment. But with the advent of Google, Facebook, and other digital players, the advertising industry is being fundamentally disrupted. Ken Auletta brilliantly chronicles this drama with his usual combination of behind-the-scenes reporting filled with colorful characters, surprising revelations, and judicious insights. This riveting book shows again why Auletta is the premier reporter of our era on the fascinating and ever-changing worlds of communications and media.” Walter Isaacson

“Intelligent and well researched, Auletta’s lively survey serves as an excellent primer to a brave new world.” Publishers Weekly

“Astute, colorful, fully informed… An important if utterly disquieting book.” Booklist

“A bright, informative take on an industry in turmoil.” Kirkus Reviews