Letter: What About Wunderman’s ‘Being Direct’ Book?

Shame on Robert W. Bly for omitting Lester Wunderman’s “Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay” from his list (“10 Marketing Books Worth Reading,” March 3). Poll the membership of the DMA and you’ll find this to be No. 1 on most lists, perhaps the only book that belongs there, in many cases.

Mr. Wunderman’s book is informative and entertaining. It details what has become the history of “direct marketing” and is written in an easygoing and — not a surprise — persuasive style. Considered by many to be the grandfather of direct marketing, Mr. Wunderman was at the leading edge of things we take for granted today: the American Express card; the Columbia Record Club; ZIP codes; magazine inserts; hell, he even coined the term “direct marketing” in 1967.

Using Mr. Bly’s format … Best part: Having had the opportunity to work for Jackson & Perkins in the mid-’90s, I paid particular attention to chapter nine, humbled to learn ideas that we thought were new and interesting were rooted (pun intended) decades before. Availability: Available in book stores and online.

As for some of the books he listed, I am reminded of comments Mr. Wunderman made awhile back: “General advertising is a leftover from the Industrial Revolution.”

Ken Lane, Vice president of direct marketing, Far & Wide Travel Corp., Miami

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