American West Coast advertising man Howard Luck Gossage was decades ahead of his time, pioneering interactive advertising, environmental campaigning, PR-stunts and much else in the 1960s, well before they became mainstream aspects of his industry.
Harrison isn’t starry-eyed about it, leaving the reader with reasonable doubts about whether, for example, the Grand Canyon was really in danger of being flooded high with water before Gossage’s advertising campaign kicked in or whether the flooding was a hyped-up scare story to turn people against plans that were in reality rather more modest.
Such caveats however never detract from the pace of the book nor from the justifiable overall assessment of Gossage as a major pioneering figure who have been strangely forgotten. If nothing else, Gossage’s role in making Marshall McLuhan famous means that the current advertising world and indeed modern society still feels the after-effects of Gossage’s life.
Only one small complaint about the book: the reproduction quality of some of the advertisements is poor which, given they are heavy with Gossage’s expert copy, means having to seek bright lighting and possibly a magnifying glass at times.