|About the Book|
Blunt, candid and lavish this profound story is about struggle and climbing the greasy pole during the early days of international advertising. Populated with fascinating personalities, outrageous events and unvarnished inside views of the Ford MotorMoreBlunt, candid and lavish this profound story is about struggle and climbing the greasy pole during the early days of international advertising. Populated with fascinating personalities, outrageous events and unvarnished inside views of the Ford Motor Company, Time magazine and Robert Maxwells publishing empire taking the reader on an enthralling sometimes-farcical journey around the world. When the 24 year old protagonist in a shaky marriage accidentally lands in the gloss, gleam and glamour of new product photography for Ford with the most beautiful models in Europe his high expectations low moral unhappy Danish wife is on the prowl for his replacement. She is ready to split but when her new love slips away decides to follow her husband to Germany hoping for fertile hunting ground. In Germany he discovers the pressure of working for Fords top management preparing world wide product introductions. Three years later he is head-hunted by Time magazine in need of his newly acquired knowledge of international advertising. It is 1962 Time magazine is wealthy, hugely influential and admired almost everywhere . His new colleagues and management are all high achievers with large egos, expensive habits and grandly entertaining. The unhappy fastidious wife is again fishing for his replacement, aiming this time for the young unmarried Count Farber-Castell from a wealthy family with an ancestral castle and life style she insists she deserves. Time magazine move the family to Amsterdam where his carer catapults in a series of successes and she finds life dull and drab. They buy a second home in their native Denmark and that is where her plan finally clicks, she finds a married man ready to give up wife and children for her. Returning to their Amsterdam apartment from a long trip he finds it half empty and the family gone. Relieved she is finally out of his life he is on the up and up and soon meets the right woman, a 12 years younger beautiful jaunty Dutch girl brought up in a world travelling family. They marry two years later. Promoted to head up Times prestigious London office he finds himself in the demanding centre of a vibrant international advertising scene. Innovative entertainment and sales management doubles Londons volume- he is tipped to go to the top but eventually management changes in New York come in the way. Instead he is moved sideways to development of the European edition working worldwide. When the financial well being of Time Inc starts waning it is first met with corporate megalomania and Time magazines 60 year anniversary is celebrated in imperial style everywhere. Nine month later the Time Inc share price is down 50% and while corporate income slows operating costs rise. With debacle knocking on the door panicky but effective cost cutting is introduced, offices close down, weak products and a fleet of company aircraft sold. Substantial staff reductions follow in preparation for a life saving merger with Warner Brothers. He leaves Time magazine to join Robert Maxwells London media empire with the Mirror Group of Newspapers, Maxwell Communication Corporation and 150 additional companies. Hired to help create the new international daily The European the project turns into a phantasmagoria of uncontrollable events when Mr. Maxwell decides simultaneously to buy two American publishing companies. The European is finally launched in 1990 but unfortunately Robert Maxwell, admired for his business accomplishments and stature, is by then so financially stretched he resorts to criminal activities to keep the show going. When it all unravels in 1991 Mr. Maxwell goes missing at sea on his huge yacht. Was he pushed? Did he jump?The author Ben Larsen was born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is currently working on a novel about Indonesia as a Dutch colony.