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Mad Men & Bad Men

Sam Delaney

The scandalous story of British politics’ love affair with advertising from Sam Delaney, the journalist with the inside-track.

Date Published
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How did a bunch of unelected, unaccountable admen end up running British politics?

What happened when a rag-tag band of scruffs and smart-arses invaded Westminster, sprinkling creative fairy dust over earnest politicians? How much did snappy slogans and simplistic soundbites influence election results and even government policies?

Sam talks to the people at the heart of it: Alistair Campbell, Peter Mandelson, Tim Bell, Maurice Saatchi, Norman Tebbit, Neil Kinnock – and many more. Everything is here ­- the moment Margaret Thatcher met the Saatchi brothers, the famous ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ poster and the infamous ‘Demon Eyes’ campaign. Here, too, are the stories they didn’t want you to hear: the man who snorted coke in Number 10, the fist-fights in Downing Street, the all-day champagne binges in Westminster.

Dark, revealing and frequently hilarious, Mad Men and Bad Men is a hugely entertaining behind-the-scenes tour of the election campaigns of the last four decades.

Critic Reviews

Fresh and spiced with surprises ... describes the incestuous, sometimes disingenuous world of London advertising with authority and clarity.

Andy Beckett, Guardian
Critic Reviews

Sam Delaney, walking the walk and talking the talk, lays bare the everlasting brutal story about democratic politics - the one that lies beyond poster world. If you win, there's no security next time. If you lose, there may be no next time. Brilliant advisers and snake oil salesmen equally welcome in the circumstances. Ego massaging and duplicity inevitable. Money, to be feverishly spent on something or other that may or not matter, perennially needed. Policies - a dreary balance of the economy and the NHS, repeated time after time - don't change. And behind the wan smiles, sheer desperation is always with us.

Peter Preston, Observer
Critic Reviews

gossipy, journalistic and often extremely amusing

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
Critic Reviews

'Does political advertising matter? The case of Kinnock: The Movie suggests not, and it is this question that hangs over Sam Delaney's gossipy, journalistic and often extremely amusing book. '

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

Sam Delaney is a writer for the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, The Big Issue and numerous others. He has made documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 and presents radio shows on BBC London and Talksport. He is the author of two previous books: Get Smashed! The story of the men who made the ads that changed our lives, and…

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