For many people, summer reading isn’t an escapist romance or potboiler, but has to do with your business– whatever your passion is. But summer reading is also about taking it easy and unwinding. In that vein, here’s a great summer read for people who want to know more about marketing and advertising:

The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture, by Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant, Knopf Canada, 2009

If you are a regular listener to CBC Radio, chances are you’ve heard of Terry O’Reilly and The Age of Persuasion. It’s an entertaining half hour radio show that talks about various aspects of advertising and marketing, as told by a giant in the Canadian marketing scene. O’Reilly is a radio writer and producer by trade who runs Pirate Toronto. He, with partner Mike Tennant, inform and entertain the listener as they discusses the ins and outs of the industry from an insider’s perspective. (It’s a co-written show, but uses the first person.)

Now O’Reilly and Tennant have published a book of the same name with the same style. It’s entertaining, yet very insightful as it discusses branding, endorsements, new media, demographics and much more from the beginning of advertising to the present.

With a style that has tongue firmly planted in cheek, the authors talk about what they term the unwritten social contract. This is a concept that says consumers tolerate advertising if they see they are getting something in return for their attention; a TV show in return for ad spots, a newspaper in return for ad space, or an ad in any medium if it entertains or adds value in some way.

So get yourself a favourite beverage, pull up a lounge chair, put on your shades and relax with a good book. Enjoy the summer.

Do you have any books to recommend? Join the conversation. Leave a comment.