Jumaat, 24 Jun 2011

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Peter Falk, TV's rumpled Columbo, has died

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 07:58 PM PDT

NEW YORK (AP): The best way to celebrate actor Peter Falk's life is to savor how Columbo, his signature character, fortified our lives.

Thanks to Falk's affectionately genuine portrayal, Lt. Columbo established himself for all time as a champion of any viewer who ever felt less than graceful, elegant or well-spoken.

Falk died Thursday at age 83 in his Beverly Hills, California, home, according to a statement released Friday by family friend Larry Larson. But Columbo lives on as the shining ideal of anyone with a smudge on his tie, whose car isn't the sportiest, who often seems clueless, who gets dissed by fancy people.

As a police detective, Columbo's interview technique was famously disjointed, with his inevitable awkward afterthought ("Ahhh, there's just one more thing...") that tried the patience of his suspect as he was halfway out the door.

Columbo was underestimated, patronized or simply overlooked by nearly everyone he met - especially the culprit.

And yet Columbo, drawing on inner pluck for which only he (and an actor as skilled as Falk) could have accounted, always prevailed. Contrary to all evidence (that is, until he nailed the bad guy), Columbo always knew what he was doing.

Even more inspiring for viewers, he was unconcerned with how other people saw him. He seemed to be perfectly happy with himself, his life, his pet basset, Dog, his wheezing Peugeot, and his never-seen wife. A squat man chewing cigars in a rumpled raincoat, he stands tall among TV's most self-assured heroes.

What viewer won't take solace forever from the lessons Columbo taught us by his enduring example?

Columbo - he never had a first name - presented a refreshing contrast to other TV detectives. "He looks like a flood victim," Falk once said. "You feel sorry for him. He appears to be seeing nothing, but he's seeing everything. Underneath his dishevelment, a good mind is at work."

On another occasion, he described Columbo as "an ass-backwards Sherlock Holmes."

"As a person, he was like Columbo. He was exactly the same way: a great sense of humor, constantly forgetting things," said Charles Engel, an NBCUniversal executive who worked with Falk on "Columbo" and was his neighbor and longtime friend.

He remembered Falk as a "brilliant" actor and "an amazingly wonderful, crazy guy," and said a script was in place for a two-hour "Columbo" special, but Falk's illness made the project impossible. In a court document filed in December 2008, Falk's daughter Catherine Falk said her father was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Somehow fittingly, Falk - the perfect choice to play Columbo - failed to be the first choice. Instead, the role was offered to easygoing crooner Bing Crosby. Fortunately, he turned it down.

With Falk in place, "Columbo" began its run in 1971 as part of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie series, appearing every third week. The show became by far the most popular of the three mysteries, the others being "McCloud" and "McMillan and Wife."

Falk was reportedly paid $250,000 a movie and could have made much more if he had accepted an offer to convert "Columbo" into a weekly series. He declined, reasoning that carrying a weekly detective series would be too great a burden.

NBC canceled the three series in 1977. In 1989 ABC offered "Columbo" in a two-hour format usually appearing once or twice a season. The movies continued into the 21st century. "Columbo" appeared in 26 foreign countries and was a particular favorite in France and Iran.

Columbo's trademark: an ancient raincoat Falk had once bought for himself. After 25 years on television, the coat became so tattered it had to be replaced.

Falk was already an experienced Broadway actor and two-time Oscar nominee when he began playing Columbo. And, long before then, he had demonstrated a bit of Columbo-worthy spunk: at 3, he had one eye removed because of cancer.

Then, when he was starting as an actor in New York, an agent told him, "Of course, you won't be able to work in movies or TV because of your eye." And after failing a screen test at Columbia Pictures, he was told by studio boss Harry Cohn that "for the same price I can get an actor with two eyes."

But Falk prevailed, even before "Columbo," picking up back-to-back Oscar nominations as best supporting actor for the 1960 mob drama "Murder, Inc." and Frank Capra's last film, the 1961 comedy-drama "Pocketful of Miracles."

Paying tribute, actor-comedian Michael McKean said, "Peter Falk's assault on conventional stardom went like this: You're not conventionally handsome, you're missing an eye and you have a speech impediment. Should you become a movie star? Peter's correct answer: Absolutely.

"I got to hang with him a few times and later worked a day with him on a forgettable TV movie," McKean went on, calling Falk "a sweet, sharp and funny man with a great soul. Wim Wenders called it correctly in 'Wings of Desire': He was an angel if there ever was one on Earth."

"There is literally nobody you could compare him to. He was a completely unique actor," said Rob Reiner, who directed Falk in "The Princess Bride."

"His personality was really what drew people to him. ... He had this great sense of humor and this great natural quality nobody could come close to," Reiner said. Falk's work with Alan Arkin in "The In-Laws" represents "one of the most brilliant comedy pairings we've seen on screen."

Peter Michael Falk was born in 1927, in New York City and grew up in Ossining, New York, where his parents ran a clothing store.

After serving as a cook in the merchant marine and receiving a master's degree in public administration from Syracuse University, Falk worked as an efficiency expert for the budget bureau of the state of Connecticut.

He also acted in amateur theater and was encouraged to become a professional by actress-teacher Eva Le Gallienne.

An appearance in "The Iceman Cometh" off-Broadway led to other parts, among them Josef Stalin in Paddy Chayefsky's 1964 "The Passion of Josef D." In 1971, Falk scored a hit in Neil Simon's "The Prisoner of Second Avenue," Tony-nominated for best play.

Falk made his film debut in 1958 with "Wind Across the Everglades" and established himself as a talented character actor with his performance as the vicious killer Abe Reles in "Murder, Inc."

Among his other movies: "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," "Robin and the Seven Hoods," "The Great Race," "Luv," "Castle Keep," "The Cheap Detective" and "The Brinks Job."

Falk also appeared in a number of art-house favorites, including "Wings of Desire" (in which he played himself as a former angel), and the semi-improvisational films "Husbands" and "A Woman Under the Influence," directed by his friend John Cassavetes.

"Today we lost someone who is very special and dear to my heart. Not only a wonderful actor but a very great friend," said Gena Rowlands, who co-starred with Falk in the latter film, and was married to the late Cassavetes.

Falk became prominent in television movies, beginning with his first Emmy for "The Price of Tomatoes" in 1961. His four other Emmys were for "Columbo."

He was married to pianist Alyce Mayo in 1960; they had two daughters, Jackie and Catherine, and divorced in 1976. The following year he married actress Shera Danese. They filed for divorce twice and reconciled each time.

When not working, Falk spent time in the garage of his Beverly Hills home. He had converted it into a studio where he created charcoal drawings. He took up art in New York when he was in the Simon play and one day happened into the Art Students League.

He recalled: "I opened a door and there she was, a nude model, shoulders back, a light from above, buck-ass naked. The female body is awesome. Believe me, I signed up right away."

Falk is survived by his wife Shera and his two daughters.

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Mulling over Martha

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 04:05 PM PDT

Martha Martha Stewart's lifestyle empire may have scaled the walls of perfection, yet the business tycoon's personal life hasn't been spick and span. But she is only human, as our writer discovers.

TUCKING a wisp of silvery blonde hair behind her ears, she said: "You can sit here next to me."

Martha Stewart, the reigning domestic goddess of America, was in Malaysia for all of one night late last week – but she still made time for a tête-à-tête with Star2 before leaving for a business trip to Dubai, UAE.

Comfortably garbed in a rose-gold satin short-sleeved coat layered atop a breezy dress of leafy swirls, Stewart sat as still as a statue as her make-up artist coated her lips with a slick of berry-toned gloss.

"I've just had some durian. It's good," she said. "Do I smell?"

A hearty laugh broke forth and set her face aglow – Stewart, who turns 70 in August, showed no signs of age having caught up with her.

*Full story in The Star today

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The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Scientists getting closer to artificial pancreas

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 08:45 PM PDT

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Researchers are coming closer to developing an "artificial pancreas," a long-sought system of insulin pumps and glucose sensors that deliver insulin to diabetics, mimicking the function of a real pancreas.

A laboratory technician tests fluids at the Institute of Cellular Medicine, in San Jose, May 18, 2010. (REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate/Files)

The devices have been in development for more than three decades, but lawmakers and diabetes advocates are ramping up the pressure and U.S. regulators this week outlined a regulatory path for a preliminary version of the device.

And while a seamless device that tracks a diabetic's blood sugar and automatically administers the right dose of insulin is still years away from commercial use, results of several studies being presented this week at the American Diabetes Association meeting in San Diego show real promise.

In one, researchers from Boston University and Massachusetts General Hospital tested a system using Abbott Laboratories' FreeStyle Navigator continuous glucose monitor and two insulin pumps made by Insulet Corp, all controlled by a laptop.

The system, which is designed to better mimic the body's natural mechanism of controlling both high and low blood sugar, was portable enough to allow adults with type 1 diabetes to roam around a hospital and use an exercise bike.

At the end of the 51-hour study, which involved daily exercise, two nights and six meals -- all of which affect a diabetic's blood sugar levels -- six patients had an average blood glucose in the normal range -- in the high 140s, which is about the equivalent of an A1c reading of about 7.

"It is very good. This is what we would call near normal blood glucose," said Dr. Steven Russell of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who is developing the system with Edward Damiano, a biomedical engineer at Boston University.

In another study, a team at Mayo Clinic hooked patients up with devices called accelerometers that tracked movements and found that even moderate exercise plays a role in glucose. The team, led by Yogish Kudva, will incorporate this data into a sophisticated software program that acts as the "brain" of an artificial pancreas system, analyzing blood sugar and calculating when diabetics need a dose of insulin.

The team plans to start a clinical trial with the system this year or early next year, Kudva says.


So-called closed-loop systems -- in which a computer calculates a person's insulin dose and delivers insulin automatically through an insulin pump -- are a far cry from the earliest version of an artificial pancreas developed in the late 1970s, says Dr. Aaron Kowalski of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or JDRF.

"The problem is it was the size of a refrigerator," said Kowalski, who oversees the group's Artificial Pancreas Project, a multimillion-dollar initiative aimed at accelerating progress toward a closed-loop automated insulin-delivery system .

With that device, patients were hooked up to an IV and could not leave their hospital bed.

Researchers have since been working to develop a so-called artificial pancreas to deliver insulin to patients with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys its own ability to make insulin, rendering sufferers unable to properly break down sugar.

People with the condition must frequently monitor and take insulin to regulate blood sugar and prevent diabetic complications such as eye damage, kidney failure and heart disease.

An estimated 3 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in childhood or in young adults.

The JDRF is working with Johnson & Johnson's Animas unit, which makes insulin pumps, and DexCom Inc, which makes continuous glucose monitoring devices.

Kowalski said nearly five years into the project, researchers are showing promising results, but he is frustrated with the pace of progress.

"People need better tools. Despite insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, there are still big challenges in diabetes management," Kowalski said.

The group on Wednesday urged a Senate hearing to call on the FDA to stop delaying the study and approval of an artificial pancreas.

They cited a study published in the British Medical Journal that found that if an artificial pancreas were available, Medicare would save nearly $2 billion over 25 years in costs related to diabetes complications.

The group is pushing to move beyond studies in academic settings and begin studies of the devices outside of the hospital setting.

"It's great that we can do this in academic centers, and we're learning a ton, but we need to get these projects to reach people with diabetes," he said.

"We need to see these products commercialized. That is the big challenge, and that is why we are working with the FDA."


Charles "Chip" Zimliki, chairman of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Artificial Pancreas Critical Path Initiative, which was created in 2006 to accelerate the availability of an artificial pancreas system, says he is eager to have a system approved.

"The FDA wants the artificial pancreas on the market as much as anyone else does. We just have to operate within U.S. laws to make sure it is safe and effective," Zimliki said.

Last week, the agency released guidance for how to develop a low glucose suspend system, an automatic shut-off mechanism used with an insulin pump. Medtronic already sells pumps with this the feature in Europe. It safeguards against a dangerous drop in glucose levels by temporarily halting glucose delivery.

By year-end, FDA plans to release detailed guidance on more complicated closed-loop systems, Zimliki said.

"We think of this system, the artificial pancreas, as one unit. There is going to have to be agreement among various companies to determine who is the reporting party for submitting it," he said.

"That is a relatively new idea with respect to these systems."

Zimliki, who is a type 1 diabetic, thinks the first approved devices will be ones that deliver insulin only, but he is very encouraged by the system being developed by the team at Boston University and Massachusetts General.

"They have what I call the Cadillac of closed-loop systems," he said. In addition to delivering insulin, the device also delivers an infusion of glucagon, a hormone released by the pancreas to raise blood sugar levels.

"They are showing some very promising results," he said.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen, editing by Matthew Lewis)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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FACTBOX - Gay marriage in the United States

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 08:45 PM PDT

REUTERS - New York became the sixth U.S. state to allow gay marriage on Friday. The state-by-state battle over gay marriage has become a contentious U.S. social issue ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

Following is a look at laws on gay marriage in the United States:

A lesbian couple celebrates inside of Stonewall Inn after the New York Senate passed a bill legalizing gay marriage in New York June 24, 2011. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Six of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia now allow same-sex marriage: Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York, the third most populous state in the country.

Four states Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey have approved gay civil unions. But gay marriage is specifically banned in 39 states.

In California a judge last year overturned a ban on gay marriage, but no weddings can take place while the decision is being appealed. It could set national policy if the case reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.

Four states -- New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island -- do not explicitly prohibit gay marriage but have not endorsed it, according to DOMA Watch, an advocacy group that supports limiting marriage to men and women.

Courts and state legislatures have legalized gay marriage in the United States but popular votes have consistently opposed same-sex unions, most recently in Maine.

Arizona is the only state where voters rejected a constitutional ban on gay marriage, in 2006, but they approved a similar measure in 2008.

California's top state court in 2008 ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage violated the state constitution. But a few months later, voters amended California's constitution, defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The first legal same-sex marriages in the United States took place in Massachusetts in 2004.

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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New York state lawmakers approve gay marriage

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 08:45 PM PDT

ALBANY, N.Y. (Reuters) - New York's state legislature gave final approval on Friday to same-sex marriages, a key victory for gay rights ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

A gay couple kisses next to their wedding cake during a symbolic group wedding on Valentine's Day in Lima February 14, 2011.(REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil/Files)

New York will become the sixth and most populous U.S. state to allow gay marriage.

State senators voted 33-29 to approve marriage equality legislation introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat in his first year of office.

"I cannot deny a person, a human being ... the same rights that I have with my wife," said Republican Senator Mark Grisanti before voting in favor of the bill.

Cheers erupted in the public gallery of the Senate after passage of the bill, which was approved earlier in the state Assembly.

After Cuomo signs the bill into law, same-sex weddings can start taking place in New York in 30 days, though religious institutions and nonprofit groups with religious affiliations will not be compelled to officiate at such ceremonies.

The New York State Catholic Conference, which represents New York state Bishops, criticized the legislation, saying that marriage is a lifelong union between one man and one woman.

"Government does not have the authority to change this most basic of truths," the bishops said in a statement.


President Barack Obama, who attended a fundraiser in New York on Thursday for Gay Pride Week, has a nuanced stance on gay issues. Experts say he could risk alienating large portions of the electorate if he came out strongly in favor of such matters as gay marriage before the 2012 elections.

During the 2008 election Obama picked up important support from Evangelicals, Catholics, Latinos and African-Americans, some of whom oppose gay marriage, which has become a contentious social issue being fought state-by-state.

In California a judge last year overturned a ban on gay marriage, but no weddings can take place while the decision is being appealed. It could set national policy if the case reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.

Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage, and Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey approved civil unions. The first legal same-sex marriages in the United States took place in Massachusetts in 2004.

But gay marriage is banned in 39 states.

(Writing by Michelle Nichols, editing by editing by Anthony Boadle)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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The Star Online: Business

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2011 adex seen achieving double-digit growth

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 06:23 PM PDT

ADVERTISING expenditure (adex), which recorded double-digit growth of 16.2% to RM4.09bil in the five-month period ending May 2011 versus a year earlier, is likely to continue its growth momentum for the rest of the year, say industry experts.

Omnicom Media Group managing director Andreas Vogiatzakis says that judging from the growth trend so far, adex in 2011 is likely to see double digit growth, boosted by media inflation, namely rate increases.

"Our hope is that, as usual, marketers will spend a bit more in the second half of the year, as traditionally the spending pattern of the first half (versus the second half) is usually 45:55, as the past seven years' spending pattern analysis suggests."

But with rising prices, spending power could be curbed, he adds.

"All other things being equal, we believe that growth is likely to slow down. Nevertheless, we could have an election year, and that event alone could sway things on the upside!"

According to data from Nielsen, newspapers attracted the most ad spend in the first five months of the year, accounting for RM1.7bil of total adex, which was a growth of 14.3% from RM1.5bil in the previous corresponding period.

This was followed by free-to-air (FTA) TV adex, which rose 12.9% to RM1.16bil while pay-TV ad spend grew 29.3% to RM861.36mil.

Vogiatzakis says the adex growth in the first five months of the year was not surprising.

"Yes, it is not surprising, as it mainly reflects rate card increases. Factors that contributed to the increase was some ad growth (and) some new advertisers entering the market, but mainly the rate inflation."

Naga DDB strategic brand planning director Tai Kam Leong, meanwhile, says he is surprised by the adex growth in the first five months of the year.

"The (16%) growth was surprising, but it's a good surprise as it shows that there is a good level of optimism in the market. It reflects the increase in competition and that advertising is important in a competitive marketplace."

However, Tai feels that adex may ease in the second half.

"Inflation is likely to keep the adex numbers up but I feel growth for the year will be in the high single digits. However, I hope to be proven wrong," he says.

Vizeum Malaysia chief executive officer Andy Miller is optimistic about the outlook for adex in Malaysia for 2011.

"I feel that the momentum will continue this year because we're completely out of a recession. The confidence level has also improved and (advertising agency) clients are spending more this year compared with last year."

Miller, who is the Media Specialists Association organising committee chairman for the upcoming Malaysian Media Awards, however believes that big budgets are not required for creative, effective ad campaigns.

"Ads with small budgets are often the most innovative," he says. - By Eugene Mahalingam

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Foetus International understands the importance of training young, promising talents

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 06:23 PM PDT

REALISING the importance of talent improvement and retention, marketing communications firm Foetus International has been organising intense training programmes for young, promising talents over the past decade.

The annual, usually three-month-plus-long training programme is a significant investment for the group, but Naga DDB strategic brand planning director Tai Kam Leong (pic), one of the many "experts" involved in the training programmes, believes it's well worth the money.

"This year, we're training 30 junior to mid-level talents from within the group. Estimated investment is about RM20,000 per head, which translates to over half-a-million ringgit," he tells StarBizweek.

The Foetus group comprises ad agencies Naga DDB and Milk+Co, digital agency Tribal DDB, customer relationship marketing firm Rapp, media specialist Vizeum Media Services, Milk PR, Faces Publication, Beyond Events, corporate responsibility operation StART Foundation, MNC Wireless, mobile-led digital firm Digital Kungfu and talent agency Model.com.

According to Tai, the talents (within the group) who are deemed to be the most promising are selected for the training.

Foetus' efforts are indeed admirable. But what if the newly trained talents choose to leave tomorrow to seek greener pastures after reaping the benefits of the course?

Tai says the talents have no obligation to stay, but adds: "Of course, it's a problem when you invest in them and they leave. But I think it's worse if you don't train them and they stay!"

Retaining the talents

This year's DDB University (DDBU), which started on May 20 and ends on Aug 26, is themed "The New (Dis)Order".

The theme is intended to reflect a working (or rather, advertising) world out there that's in a state of chaos, or disorder. But through the DDBU, the trained talents can "bring order to the chaos."

"They (the young talents) are considered the new world order and we need them to be able to bring order to the disorder," Tai enthuses.

According to him, among the areas of training will be basic finance, strategic development, modes of (effective) communication, public relations, digital marketing and mobile marketing.

The full-day training sessions, which is held primarily on weekends, is conducted by respected industry experts that include managing directors and chief executive officers in their relevant fields, says Tai.

"We avoid the mistake of getting trainers that are not well versed with the industry and have taken the best practitioners for this," he says, adding that the trainees are given both theoretical and practical training.

"We also give them real-life challenges, to try and have them solve real problems."

At the end of the course, everyone gets a certificate and rewards are also given to those who excel at certain challenges, says Tai, adding that the DDBU has become somewhat of an "urban legend" over the years for being a gruelling training program.

He says that some trainees actually get emotional once the course is finally over.

The main purpose for having the training, says Tai, is not only to improve the group's working ability, but to also keep them engaged in their work and of course, to be able to retain them.

"We want our people to be better at what they do and also want them to learn new things and challenges."

Tai believes that talent retention is about keeping things interesting and challenging, adding that the turnover rate (in terms of talent) in the advertising industry is high.

"If work remains challenging and interesting, your people are more likely to show passion in their jobs."

He says that in today's working world, a lot of people switch jobs not purely for monetary reasons.

"(To these people), their jobs give them challenges that keep things exciting for them."

Tai adds that the training is also inline with the group's "3P" philosophy, namely people, product and profit.

"Profits are reliant on the product, which, in our case, are ideas, and ideas are driven by people.

"However, if you don't take care of your people, there won't be anyone to come up with ideas (and ultimately a product). And without this, you can't generate profits."

Given that the DDBU targets junior to mid-level participants, Tai adds that having a more efficient (younger) work force also helps elevate the efficiency level of the rest of the group.

Bragging rights

To date, the DDBU has successfully trained more than 200 participants since it first started in 2001. Among its more well known "graduates" is former BBDO/Proximity Malaysia executive creative director Mun Tuck Wai, says Tai.

He believes that no other creative agency in Malaysia invests as much as Foetus does in its people.

"A lot of companies say they place a lot of emphasis on talent investment but I don't think they put their money where their mouth is.

"No one teaches you three months of the ins and outs of marketing and advertising.

"I don't think there is also anyone that is as expensive as us.

"It's not a bragging right, but we believe this is the right thing to do. We encourage everyone else to do it. In fact, we're even open to help anyone do it!," he says.

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Posted: 24 Jun 2011 06:22 PM PDT

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging natural groups to build a thriving organization

Authors: Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright

Publishers: Harper Business

Every organisation composes tribes. These are naturally occurring groups of between 20 and 150 people. Until today, only a few leaders could identify and develop their tribes, and those rare individuals were rewarded with loyalty, productivity and innovation. This book shows leaders how to assess, identify and upgrade their tribes' cultures one stage at a time. The result is an organisation that can thrive in any economy.

Chinnovation: How Chinese innovators are changing the world

Author: Yinglan Tan

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Drawing on a wealth of on-the-ground stories and thorough research, this book shows how Chinese companies have dispelled the myth that China's entrepreneur class has grown due to their knowledge of the domestic market and their adaptation to change. The author is of the view that it is innovation that has helped the Chinese entrepreneurs, although a knowledge of the domestic market is also important.

Drucker's Lost Art of Management

Authors: Joseph A. Maciariello and Karen E. Linkletter

Publisher:McGraw Hill

A much-needed blueprint to make corporate America management more functional and redeeming. Management guru Peter Drucker made clear connections between the liberal arts and effective management but he passed away before providing a detailed exposition of his ideas. Maciariello and Linkletter integrate their Drucker expertise in management and the arts to redefine the corporate world.

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The Star Online: Sports

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Perez likely to race in Spain after good practice

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 06:00 PM PDT

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Sauber driver Sergio Perez expects to race in the European Grand Prix after running relatively trouble free in practices on Friday.

Perez timed a quickest lap of 1 minute, 40.531 seconds on Valencia's street circuit to trail leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari by 2.563 seconds in 16th.

Perez missed the Canadian GP after crashing in Monaco. He pulled out of Montreal after feeling dizzy in practice there.

Perez admits he still isn't 100 percent as "it's difficult to find your rhythm."

Perez says "it's going to be very tough to come back this weekend at a race that is so physically demanding."

The young Mexican rookie has to deal with strong G-forces but doesn't expect the race distance to be a problem.

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Cricket: Sri Lanka's Tharanga suspended for 3 months

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 05:59 PM PDT

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Sri Lanka opening batsman Upul Tharanga was suspended for three months by the International Cricket Council on Friday for using a banned substance during the World Cup.

After the semifinal win against New Zealand on March 29 at Colombo, Tharanga tested positive for metabolites of two glucocorticosteroids — Prednisone and Prednisolone.

He was banned from May 9 to Aug. 8, and will miss Sri Lanka's entire ongoing tour of Britain and Ireland.

He pleaded guilty on Friday before an independent anti-doping tribunal, comprising of chairman Tim Kerr, Anik Sax and Peter Sever.

"The tribunal accepted that Tharanga had ingested the substances when drinking a herbal remedy given to him to ease discomfort caused by a long-standing shoulder injury," the ICC said in a statement.

"It also found that Tharanga had no intention to enhance his sporting performance or to mask the use of another performance-enhancing substance, but that he had failed to satisfy the high levels of personal responsibility implicit upon him as an international cricketer subject to anti-doping rules."

Tharanga apologized to fans and followers "for inadvertently committing an offense."

"I hope my fellow sportsmen will learn from my experience and be more vigilant when taking medical treatment, so that their careers do not suffer in the way that mine has," he said.

The tribunal also disqualified the rankings points he earned from the World Cup. He scored two centuries during the run to the final.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said it realizes Tharanga didn't cheat deliberately, "but the ICC maintains its zero-tolerance approach towards doping for the benefit of all its stakeholders."

Tharanga has 21 days to appeal after receiving the written decision.

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Stenson, Coetzee share lead in Munich at 10 under

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 05:56 PM PDT

MUNICH (AP) — George Coetzee of South Africa birdied four of his last six holes Friday for a second straight 5-under 67 to sit tied for the lead with Henrik Stenson at the midway point of the BMW International Open.

Stenson had looked certain to protect his overnight lead after making an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole for the second day in a row, but the Swede finished with two bogeys for a 70. Stenson and Coetzee were at 10-under 134 to sit one stroke ahead of Pablo Larrazabal of Spain, who carded a 67. Five players were in a tie for fourth, another shot back.

Stenson is looking for his first trophy since the Players Championship in Sawgrass in 2009, and has dropped from fourth in the rankings to 124th.

"It would mean a lot to me to win in terms of confidence and so on," the 35-year-old Swede said. "Let's try and have a good weekend here first, and then we have the British Open coming up in a couple of weeks. If I can keep on building on this progress, hopefully I can give myself some chances to win majors."

Stenson started on the 10th tee and bogeyed his first hole, but reached 12 under after his eagle on the sixth and birdie on the seventh.

But his disappointing finish allowed Coetzee to catch up, putting the South African in contention for his first European Tour title.

"I have led a couple of times, but I'd like to finish one first sooner or later," Coetzee said. "I think it's just a matter of trying to be in contention come the final afternoon. I don't really mind if I'm leading or not leading, just as long as I am within touching distance."

Third-ranked Martin Kaymer stayed in the hunt for a victory on home soil with a 68, putting him four shots back in a tie for 15th. The German had four straight birdies from eighth hole, and narrowly missed an eagle putt on the 18th.

"I am only four shots behind, which is not a lot on a course like this which offers plenty of birdies," Kaymer said. "I love playing with so many spectators and maybe on Sunday, we can win this together."

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152,000 students to lose loans due to poor results

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 06:02 AM PDT

Published: Friday June 24, 2011 MYT 7:01:00 PM
Updated: Friday June 24, 2011 MYT 9:02:18 PM

TEMERLOH: The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has withheld loans to 152,000 students for scoring a Semester Grade Point Average (SGPA) of 2.0 and below.

Its chairman Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said said the students, who obtained poor results, had received loans totalling RM632mil.

He said they used to excel in their studies but for some reasons their performance deteriorated and they failed to obtain above 2.0 SGPA in the second semester.

"But if they are able to get above 2.0 SGPA in the next examination, the loans will be released," he told reporters after presenting loans to 100 public and private universities students from the Kuala Krau parliamentary constituency in Jengka near here Friday.

Ismail said so far the PTPTN had approved loans amounting to RM38.69bil for 1.75 million students and waived loan repayments totalling RM277.99mil for 9,545 students who graduated with first class honours last year.

Of the 132,810 blacklisted students who defaulted on loan repayments, he said 12,400 had repaid loans amounting to RM113.9mil. - BERNAMA

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PM to GLCs: Work with private sector for overseas markets

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 05:54 AM PDT

Published: Friday June 24, 2011 MYT 8:12:00 PM
Updated: Friday June 24, 2011 MYT 8:54:15 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has suggested that government-linked companies (GLC) work more closely with the private sector to tap overseas markets.

Such cooperation, the Prime Minister said, could lead to new local growth sectors.

Najib, who was launching the GLC Open Day on Friday, said GLCs had not only showed good performance but expanded overseas.

"This is the transformation that we envisaged at this point of history of our nation," he said.

Visitors at the GLC Open Day, held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, can enquire about scholarships and career opportunities.

Organising secretariat Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar hoped the public would find the exhibition "educational as much as fun-filled".

"It is intended to reach out, touch and get feedback from our ultimate stakeholders - the rakyat," he said in his speech.

Exhibitors include Maybank, UMW Holdings Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

The event is open from 10am to 7pm Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday.

More in The Star Saturday.

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Four in family killed in accident

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 04:47 AM PDT

KULAIJAYA: Four members of a family were killed while two others seriously injured in a tragic accident at KM46.7 of the North South Expressway near Simpang Renggam Friday.

District police chief ACP Zulkefly Yahya said Wong Tong Hing, 66, his wife Fong Kum Ngoh, 60, his brother-in-law Fong Kum Kai, 59, and grandson Wong Jing Xuan, 18 months, died at the spot.

"Those injured were Wong's daughter Wong Ai Ling, 35 and their daughter-in-law Ng Chai Yuin, 21," he said.

Zulkefly said in the 9.45am incident, Wong, who was driving the Nissan Grand Livina, was believed to have lost control, hit the road divider and ran into a monsoon drain before hitting a pillar of an overhead bridge.

"All the victims were from Bandar Putra here and on their way to Malacca," he said.

Wong's neighbour Kam Yee Chin, 52, when met at the Kulai Hospital, said Kum Ngoh had told her that they (the deceased) had planned to go to Malacca before heading to Port Dickson.

"We have been neighbours and friends for the past 13 years," said Kam. - BERNAMA

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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Bollywood stars kick off film academy events

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 10:48 PM PDT

TORONTO (AP): Some of Bollywood's biggest stars gathered in Toronto on Thursday to kick off the 12th International Indian Film Academy weekend - held for the first time on North American soil.

A group of Bollywood dancers descended on Toronto's Fairmont Royal York hotel to launch the three-day extravaganza of film, music and fashion that culminates Saturday in the academy's awards ceremony, often described as the Indian Oscars.

"I am thrilled to be a part of yet another IIFA," "Slumdog Millionaire" actor Anil Kapoor said at a press conference. "It is an event that I look forward to every single year, and I could not be happier that they have chosen Toronto as the host city for this year's celebrations."

IIFA organizers have taken the awards ceremony around the world in a bid to expose the genre to more audiences and open up trade markets.

Holding the star-studded event in Toronto is a strategic move as India's cinematic royalty makes a bid for a piece of the North American box office. Held previously in Amsterdam, Sri Lanka, Macau, London, Malaysia, Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok and Johannesburg, IIFA is capitalizing on the already huge Bollywood following in Toronto, which has an estimated population of nearly 700,000 South Asians.

More than 200 filmmakers and stars are expected in Canada from India and overseas, including three generations of the famed Kapoor clan headed by patriarch Raj Kapoor, the Deol dynasty including Dharmendra and his sons Sunny and Bobby, superstar Shah Rukh Khan, and bombshell actress Priyanka Chopra.

The Toronto International Film Festival Bell Lightbox - the flagship theater of the Toronto film fest - will host a salute to the Kapoor dynasty on Sunday when the clan is expected to walk a red carpet and discuss their storied career.

Singer Sonu Nigam will take the stage Friday for an IIFA concert with Grammy-nominated singer Jermaine Jackson to pay a tribute to his brother Michael Jackson, who had a huge fan following in India. The concert will commemorate the second anniversary of Jackson's death.

"When we first (arrived in) California, we were most entertained every Saturday by Bollywood movies," said Jackson. "We were watching you from day one, as we were on the journey to becoming The Jackson Five. We loved the dance, the costumes, the entertainment, the set designs. It's what inspired us a great deal as well."

But it's the awards bash that will be the hot ticket of the weekend. The multimillion-dollar show is being billed as the biggest production in the film academy's history. IIFA organizers estimate the elaborate staging involves between 800 and 1,000 performers, crew, designers, production managers, and talent, and the broadcast of it will be watched by 700 million viewers around the world.

Toronto has been gearing up for the IIFA awards for weeks with various Bollywood-related events, and stars have been flying into the city since last week.

Several films will be making their international premieres over the weekend, including "Double Dhamaal," starring starring Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi, Ashish Chowdhry, Javed Jaffery, Sanjay Dutt, Mallika Sherawat and Kangana Ranaut.

When tickets for the awards ceremony went on sale in January, all 16,000 of the 22,000 tickets available to the public sold out in minutes_eight minutes to be exact.

And it's a mutually beneficial event for Toronto. Ontario premiere Dalton McGuinty lured the IIFA to the city by pledging $12.25 million (12 million Canadian dollars) and this weekend's festival - held at a cost of $28.6 million (28 million Canadian dollars) shared by IIFA, sponsors and the province - is expected to draw 40,000 to 50,000 tourists to various events throughout Toronto.

Bollywood spends a reported $127 million producing movies abroad every year, and Toronto is hoping to get a piece of that. Trade between Ontario and India amounted to $1.53 billion in 2009.

"We celebrate the year of Indian and Canada coming together," said Indian Consul General Preeti Saran. "We see immense growth opportunities between the two countries."

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The Buck(y) stops here

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 02:21 AM PDT

Fear Itself #3 (of 7, Marvel, US$3.99)

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: Stuart Immonen

THIS writer is not a big fan of resurrected characters, particularly those who have perished due to a character-defining moment. Having made an allowance for Elektra, I have recently added another character to the list – Bucky Barnes @ Winter Soldier and present day Captain America. While Elektra's an exception due to her DD and Hand connections, Bucky gets the same special treatment due to Ed Brubaker's mesmerising storytelling.

Brubaker certainly stunned the Cap-fraternity when he brought Bucky back in his first of many stellar story-arcs (Captain America, 2004, #1-6) as it not only reaffirmed that no deaths are sacred in comics but, best of all, it revitalised Cap's mythos.

Long-time Steve Rogers fans would recall that Bucky was his WWII sidekick who perished during an air plane incident involving Baron Zemo. Ironically, that same event also resulted in Cap being thrown back into the Silver Age. Similar to those countless Uncle Ben cameos in Spidey books, Bucky's memory has occasionally plagued Cap's thoughts. Remember a Bucky lookalike in Jack Monroe, who eventually lived (and died) as a B-grade Cap named Nomad?

Truth is, Bucky's return as Winter Soldier breathed new life into the star-spangled avenger's escapades, so much so that when Rogers "died" (the infamous Cap #25), Bucky automatically became the successor for all his roles, including being at the forefront during Secret Invasion. The confusion sets in with the impending release of the Cap movie, where it would be "commercially unviable" to continue having Bucky as Cap in the comic books. With Boston-raised actor Chris Evans expected to raise Rogers' on-screen persona to greater heights, it is inevitable that there is only one Cap – making Rogers the obvious choice.

Followers of Cap's monthly series would have already seen the writing on the wall as Bucky's been serving time at Gulag, pending the outcome of his trial by the Russian court (for acts committed during his stint as Winter Soldier).

Obviously, you can't have Cap behind bars at the time of his movie premiere, and recent events in Fear Itself fast tracks Bucky's "departure".

As Marvel's main event for 2011, Fear Itself has certainly upped the stakes for a few of its household names (Thor, Bucky and Rogers).

Premised on the unveiling of an Asgardian prophecy involving a serpent/Skadi and seven uru hammers, Midgard is in tatters when Odin and his Asgardians (including Thor) abruptly leave.

Sin (the Red Skull's daughter) traces her father's files to locate a WWII secret concerning the Hammer of Skadi (who happens to be Odin's second wife). While the Skull was deemed unworthy when he attempted to lift the hammer (ages ago), Sin proved that it was an (evil) woman's touch that was needed as she gets herself mystically empowered.

Sin is not the only recipient of an uru hammer ... half a dozen other hammers are in circulation, en route to finding a worthy wielder. This is where Earth's mightiest "mortals" falter as their combined powers are insufficient to fend off the wrath of six Thor-like beings.

While the initial build-up is rather lethargic, the plot gets going here, thanks to rumours that Bucky has "kicked the buck-et". With past Bucky-Sin encounters being one-sided (in the former's favour), this time it's a whole new ball game as Bucky's bionic arm and adamantium shield are rendered useless against Sin's hammer.

Making full use of her new gifts, Sin pulverises Bucky and leaves him (and readers) in limbo. Regardless of whether he lives or dies (again), Rogers will re-assume the Cap mantle next month, in conjunction of the launch of a new Cap series.

Supreme Power #1 (of 4, Marvel, US$3.99)

Writer: Kyle Higgins

Artist: Michel Lacombe and Manuel Garcia

Green Lantern fever has affected the Marvel Universe as evident from the Doctor Spectrum focus in this four-parter. The Supreme's equivalent of the Emerald Knight faces the trials and tribulations in assuming the role of America's protector after Hyperion's departure. While Hyperion's alien heritage gave him a reason to denounce America and Earth, the good ol' Doctor here is a devoted soldier who will do anything to defend his country – including facing the media.

Things turn awry when the Feds sent him on a cross-border mission to kill a super-powered Syrian. The mission is almost botched when his opponent proved too strong and Doc had to rely on his spectrum's alien persona to save the day. With all the sensitivities about aliens (post-Hyperion), Doc's problem might just prove to be the tip of the iceberg. Not a bad read, considering that this four-parter is Straczynski-free.

Fathom Primer (one-shot, Aspen, US$1)

Writers: Michael Turner and Scott Lobdell

Artist: Michael Turner

June 27 marks the third anniversary of the late Michael Turner's death. Artist extraordinaire and the man who made Sara Pezzini @ Witchblade a household name is no longer with us but his work lives on with this year's animated Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and this nifty repackaging of his labour of love.

I recall being at the forefront of Fathom's launch in 1998, splurging on all three versions of its debut issue ... variant content (and not covers).

This "primer" issue recollects Fathom's debut appearance at a (much) lower price and spares you the hassle of reading three very similar books consecutively. While I wouldn't be able to "fathom" (no pun intended) why the people at Aspen are still attempting to revive this sinking character, what I won't deny is that Turner is in top form with the artwork featured here.

> Comics courtesy of Earth 638 (012-6631584, e-mail: earth638@yahoo.com). The shop is having a massive relocation sale until June 27, at its premises in Wisma Atria, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

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Keys to Facebook

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 02:19 AM PDT

The Facebook Effect

Author: David Kirkpatrick

Publisher: Virgin Books, 374 pages

WHEN you have 500 million friends around the world, you don't need much introduction. Author David Kirkpatrick was given the keys to the Facebook kingdom and opens the door to the story of how any idea can grow with the right mechanism and, more importantly, a lot of friends.

The Most Beautiful Woman In The World

Author: Ellis Amburn

Publisher: Harper, 558 pages

As Andy Warhol put it, "She has everything: magic, money, beauty and intelligence. Why can't she be happy?" Author Ellis Amburn attempts to answer that question in a book that reveals Elizabeth Taylor in all her splendour and tragedy. An undoubted star both on and off the screen, Taylor was rarely far from the spotlight with her turbulent loves, her doomed affections and her glamorous lifestyle. This book is a celebration of a life that was tormented and worshipped, both in equal measure.

The Man In The White Suit

Author: Ben Collins

Publisher: Harper, 339 pages

He dressed in white from top to toe, drove really fast and, for the longest time, was mysteriously faceless. The Stig, more a phenomenon than a person, appeared regularly on Britain's popular motoring show, Top Gear. Now that he has revealed himself as Ben Collins, a former Formula Three and GT racing driver, he tells of his time as the mysterious figure dressed in white. Getting accustomed to really quick cars quickly was a cinch but dealing with eccentric host Jeremy Clarkson deserved a bonus, it seems. All the stories of speed, hilarity and calamitous collisions come to light in this autobiography built for the fast lane.

Literary Life

Author: Larry McMurtry

Publisher: Simon and Schuster, 175 pages

As the genius mind behind Terms Of Endearment and the 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove and as co-writer of the screenplay for controversial cowboy love story Brokeback Mountain, Larry McMurtry is one Texan who was always destined to be as big as his home state. Revered by many sharing his profession of journalist, McMurtry details his rise to literary stardom from his early university days to his tenure at prestigious Stanford. With years of observations expressed in witty words, McMurtry fills this autobiography with anecdotes about his relationship with writing and writers alike.

Sini Sana

Editors: Tom Sykes & Tan May Lee

Publisher: MPH, 225 pages

In this collection of short stories of little gems around Malaysia, each writer relates his or her experiences in discovering the unknown on the road less travelled. From the idyllic paradise of Perhentian Kecil to the green-filled surroundings of Sarawak's tiny villages, Sini Sana takes you on an unusual Malaysian road trip.

Lost in Shangri-La

Author: Mitchell Zuckoff

Publisher: Harper, 384 pages

The year is 1945 and an American plane ferrying 24 servicemen and women crashes into a beautiful but terrifyingly dangerous valley nicknamed Shangri-La in what was then called Dutch New Guinea. Only three survive, and, fearing death at the hands of spear-wielding tribesmen, they trek along the jungle-covered mountainside – and straight into a village of supposed cannibals. Journalism professor Mitchell Zuckoff has uncovered a true story of heroic survival that rivals anything Hollywood could dream up.

Live And Let Love

Editor: Andrea Buchanan

Publisher: Gallery Books, 277 pages

An award-winning actress. A soldier's wife. A cancer survivor. What these women have in common is an extraordinary need for love: to give it and to receive it. This collection of short observations from members of the fairer sex speaks about how they have come to terms with love and, often times, how they had to overcome adversity before coming anywhere near it. A journalist's tale of how, like a good story, an adventure of love should never be passed up, is among the poignant anecdotes lying in this book for readers to laugh at, learn from and lean on.

The Quotable Hitchens

Editor: Windsor Mann

Publisher: Da Capo Press, 332 pages

Christopher Hitchens is not a man of few words. In fact, it would be pretty difficult to find him in a situation whereby he is not debating religious scholars, Catholic clergy and devout Muslims about the existence of God and the supposed morality of religion. As a prominent journalist and author of the bestselling memoir Hitch-22, Hitchens has had more than his fair share of contentious controversies. This book is a collection of the provocateur's most scathing, hilarious and clear-cut commentaries on everything under the sun. From diet books to the Dixie Chicks, this is Hitchen's very own highlight reel.

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Delightful Ogilvy-isms

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 02:03 AM PDT

This book is entertaining, fun and functional — even decades after it was first published. Today, the day after the author's birthday, we hope to sell you on buying this re-issued edition.

Confessions Of An Advertising Man
Author: David Ogilvy
Publisher: Southbank Publishing, 208 pages

WE admire people who work hard, who are objective and thorough. We detest office politicians, toadies, bullies and pompous asses. We abhor ruthlessness. The way up our ladder is open to everybody. In promoting people to top jobs, we are influenced as much by their characters as anything else."

So said David Ogilvy, pioneering ad man and one of the founding fathers of the modern consumer mindset.

Ogilvy, an advertising genius and one of the original Madison Avenue Madmen, distilled all his successful concepts, tactics, techniques and, most importantly, his philosophy on life into Confessions Of An Advertising Man.

Expressed in his seminal style, the author's robust views are timeless and can still be regarded not only as a primer for modern advertising but also as a blueprint for good business practice, even 48 years after its first publication.

The subsequent nine reprints of this bestseller over the years, including this year (which marks the Ogilvy Group's 50th year of business in Malaysia), as well as its translation into 14 languages speak volumes about the significance of this classic.

If these statistics don't impress you, the content and the singular character featured within the covers certainly will.

David Ogilvy was born in West Horsley, England, in 1911, and was the youngest of five children of a Scottish stockbroker. He was educated in Fettes College, Edinburgh, and Christ Church, Oxford, though he never completed his Oxford degree – the real failure of his life, he said.

He started his career as an apprentice chef in the kitchens of the Hotel Majestic in Paris. He then went on to sell stoves as a door-to-door salesman for Aga Cookers in Scotland. His success at this endeavour marked him out to his employer, who asked him to write an instruction manual, The Theory And Practice Of Selling The Aga Cooker, for the other salesmen – 30 years later, this manual was still being used as a resource by Fortune magazine editors, who have called it the finest sales instruction manual ever written.

In 1938, Ogilvy emigrated to the United States where he became an associate director at Dr George Gallup's Audience Research Institute in New Jersey.

After World War II, at the age of 37, with two staff members and no clients, Ogilvy founded his New York-based agency, which later merged to form the international company known today as Ogilvy & Mather.

What has been called the "slender but juicy book" and seen as the equivalent of Mao Zedong's Little Red Book for the 1960s ad generation, is an easy, enjoyable read and has many succulent slices of Ogilvy-isms to offer: "You can't save souls in an empty church", "When people aren't having any fun, they seldom produce good work", "You cannot bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them in buying it", "The consumer is not a moron. She is your wife. Don't insult her intelligence."

It is a book that is eminently quotable, with clever words of wisdom you can spout to your friends and family and come across as really witty!

Ogilvy wrote this book during his summer vacation in 1962 and gave the copyright to his son for his 21st birthday.

He originally thought it would sell only 4,000 copies, having written it mainly to attract new clients to his advertising agency, to condition the market for a public offering of his company's shares, and to make himself better known in the business world.

It achieved all three purposes – and, having sold over a million copies worldwide since its release, it has also, obviously, interested many people outside the advertising world.

The entertaining book that reads like good advertising copy, rife with rich words and vibrant vocabulary, is animated by Ogilvy's lively anecdotes.

It contains 11 sections with simple, self-explanatory titles, such as, How To Manage An Advertising Agency, How To Get Clients, How To Keep Clients, How To Be A Good Client, How To Build Great Campaigns, etc.

As the man himself notes in a section he updated subsequently, before his death in 1999, "most of the advertising techniques which worked when I wrote Confessions Of An Advertising Man still work today. Consumers still buy products whose advertising promises them value for money, beauty, nutrition, relief from suffering, social status and so on. All over the world."

Ogilvy pulls no punches in cautioning today's companies that are buying volume by price discounting instead of using advertising to build strong brands: "Any damn fool can put on a price reduction but it takes brains and perseverance to create a brand.... Price-off deals are a drug. Ask a drug-addicted brand manager what happened to his share of the market after the delirium of the deal subsided. He will change the subject. Ask him if his deal increased his profit. Again he will change the subject."

Over the years, we have been seduced by many an Ogilvy campaign that dished out "a little British narcissism fused with hard-nosed American, self-serving salesmanship."

His entry into the company of giants started with iconic campaigns such as "The man in the Hathaway shirt" that featured a model with an aristocratic eye patch, inspired by Baron George Wrangell (this campaign ran for 21 years) and "The man from Schweppes is here" that introduced Commander Edward Whitehead, the elegant bearded Brit, bringing Schweppes (and "Schweppervesence") to America.

He also coined the famous line of copy that said, "At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock."

Ogilvy advocates "an infuriating habit of divine discontent with performance"; seeing it as an "antidote to smugness." And he qualifies the "slight stench of conceit" in the book by stating that his "conceit is selective" and confessing that "I am a miserable duffer in everything, except advertising. I cannot read a balance sheet, work a computer, ski, sail, play golf or paint. But when it comes to advertising, Advertising Age says that I am 'the creative king of advertising'. When Fortune published an article about me and titled it 'Is David Ogilvy A Genius?', I asked my lawyer to sue the editor for the question mark."

British film director Sir Alan Parker wrote the Foreword for Confessions Of An Advertising Man, and notes: "Ultimately this book is important because it's not just about advertising, it's also about how people think and behave at the sharp end of business – any business."

Confessions Of An Advertising Man is a must read if you aspire to be a good manager or marketer in any industry. And even if you don't, if you aren't in the advertising business or any business, for that matter, you will delight in the candour and wit contained within.

The engaging stories told in the first person are fun, fascinating and functional. Ogilvy sums up the book best, calling it "a confession of my sins and a description of my adventures."

Are you sold?

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