How the book happened

As consultant to a Chinese communications startup, I commuted from Montreal to Beijing between 2003-2010, that country’s greatest decade of growth.

My task was to lead key projects and help build the organization from a local design shop into a full-fledged, full-service agency with major clients.

During that time, we won several VW launches and helped Jetta become China’s bestselling car. We also won 361º, China’s largest sportswear company with over 5,000 retail stores.

With this experience, I was encouraged to write a book on global advertising exclusively for the Chinese market. It was my friend and interpreter of many years, Zhu Zengxin, who introduced me to his contacts at Higher Education Press, Beijing, one of the world’s largest publishers.

Zhu Zengxin

The contract we signed allowed me total freedom in terms of content. This involved dozens of classic case studies, all wrapped up in my own life experience working and traveling on 5 continents.

Today, after several years in development, the book is available in a bilingual, soft-cover format, distributed across China as a university text book, a professional reference, and an intriguing insight for the general public.

Here’s a look at the contents by chapter:


Why this book. Why me.

1. Life lessons

A personal journey. A whole new world of discovery and experience.

2. The development of communications

The easy way to learn. Observations about China. The greatest advertising philosophies six American innovators.

3. Understanding the brand

What is a brand? Why is it different from the product? What is a promise? Why is it so important to creative thinking?

4: The creative soul

Are creative people different? Learning to think. Working creatively inspiration, brainstorming, presentation, production.

5. Inside an agency

Types of agency. Who does what? A walk through each department. How the digital revolution changed everything and nothing.

6. Managing your career

How to get a job in an agency. How to keep it. Ways to advance. How to make more money.


How far we’ve come. Where we’re going.

FREE: English version

Although the book is bilingual, it’s not available outside China. I’m therefore offering my original English version as a free pdf for ad-biz colleagues old and new. It includes the unabridged text, together with all reference material.

There’s no catch, no hidden conditions. All I ask is that if you like it, please send me back a brief review, together with your credentials, for possible use in promotions.

For your free copy, please email me at:


Bilingual edition:

published only in China

English pdf:

free direct from the author


The author with colleagues, Beijing, 2004

Chinese translation: Zhu Zengxin

Publisher: Higher Education Press, Beijing: 2019

“Great for Chinese advertising agencies... But it could also work anywhere else in the world.” Pierre Pilon, Strategy and Creative Consultant, Montreal, Moscow

“An impressive piece of work... Delivers precious, inspirational insights on the industry. Intelligent, generous and solid... Great job!” André Paradis, Y&R Montreal, Paris

“The combination of personal anecdotes and simple but relevant examples results in a book that is as interesting for a novice as it is for a professional. Bravo!” Roger Gariépy, Ex-Partner, DentsuBos, experience in Montreal, Zurich, Tokyo