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National Mail Order Association

 Asinine Advertising 


by Herschell Gordon Lewis

Direct magazine's Curmudgeon-at-Large has done it again…this time with a scathing analysis of how bad advertising--based on false notions of "creative, over-produced and under-thought-out sales appeals, and just plain stupidity and dishonesty--are costing all of us--business people and consumers, sellers and buyers--a lot of money needlessly.\

Table of Contents

SECTION ONE The Ignoble Art of Online Messup
1 The Sky Is Falling. Want Our Umbrella?
2 Spam-Scams
3 Hey, Fatso, You’re Too Skinny
SECTION TWO 0% Interest . . . On ANY Level
4 Toto, We Aren’t in Kansas Anymore
5 One-String Fiddle
6 Free at Last? Not by a Long Shot!
SECTION THREE The Ignoble Art of Customer Elimination Management
7 There’s a Flaw in My Soup
8 Software by Softheads
9 I Dub Thee Sir (Sur) Charge!
10 Everybody Wants to Get into the Act
11 Technology Outstrips Psychology
12 Bonfire of the Vanity
SECTION FOUR The Nuthouse Is Open for Business
13 Fried
14 Speaking of Celebrities, Whatever Happened to Arnold Palmer?
15 I Guarantee® That My¹ Guarantee® Is² Guaranteed® to Guarantee®
16 In Love … with Whoever Answers the Phone
17 Check and Double-Check
18 Up to No Good
19 Tower of Babel … No, Make That Babble

What the experts are saying about Asinine Advertising Rules, Tools, Forms and Lists for Both Printed and  Electronic Catalogs

Remember what John Wanamaker said about wasting half his advertising dollars? Too bad he couldn’t have read this great book. With true expertise and a great sense of humor, Lewis illuminates the path to recognizing inept and unethical ads and offers valuable insights into developing marketing that generates greater response and increased revenue. It’s a must-read.
– Todd Simon
Senior Vice President, Omaha Steaks

Herschell has the wealth of copywriting knowledge and experience to help ensure that your marketing messages are sublime—and, more important, effective—rather than asinine. And he has the hearty skepticism and cynical wit to make the process fun as well.
—Sherry Chiger
Editorial Director
Multichannel Merchant (formerly Catalog Age)

Another brilliant piece of industry observation—rueful in picking over examples of poor modern marketing, and rib-tickling: the hilarious conversation with a telemarketer will live with me forever. The man may be a prolific author, guru and all-round good egg(head), but he’s also a comic genius. Yet more bang-up-to-date wit and wisdom from the King of Copywriting. Long may he reign!
– Sally Hooton
Direct Marketing International

If you chose to read one book to enlighten you and entertain you on what not to do in advertising, while teaching you what to do, this is it. Those of us who have utilized Herschell’s creative talents know that he delivers results. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to maximize their return on investment in advertising by avoiding pitfalls. Whether you are an expert or a beginner, there are many nuggets of gold here.
– David W. Marold
Direct Marketing, AAA Insurance

If you’re (not your) a Herschell Gordon Lewis fan, then this book is a must read. Herschell’s ascerbic writing and insight instruct anyone interested in communicating a marketing message how to do it in a compelling and intelligent manner and in a way that will raise response and not insult the reader.
– Dick Goldsmith
The Horah Group
Author, Direct Mail for Dummies

About the Author of Asinine Advertising

Herschell Gordon Lewis is one of the leading copywriters of the past half-century. He is author of 27 books, including Marketing Mayhem, The Advertising Age Handbook of Advertising, Selling on the Net, and Sales Letters That Sizzle. Mr. Lewis has written for many trade publications, including Direct, Direct Marketing Magazine, Selling, 1 to 1, Direct Marketing News, and is the copy columnist for Catalog Age. He also has addressed advertising and marketing audiences around the world. In 2003, he was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame.

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