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Top 10 Media and Marketing Books of All Time

Readers of Ad Age Vote Ries and Trout to Top Spot

By Published on . 40

Ad Age wanted to create a definitive reading list for the marketing and media business, but we didn't know whether the editorial team could pull it off on our own, so we turned it over to the wisdom of crowds.

Actually "The Wisdom of Crowds," James Surowiecki's treatise on the benefits of collective thinking, got only one vote. But more than 300 people took the time to list their favorite books, either in comments below our staff picks, on LinkedIn, or via e-mail. Most ignored our request that they choose a single book, and instead nominated a handful, so more than 400 books got a nod.

Mr. Surowiecki kept some pretty good company among those who didn't make your top 10. The brilliant William Gibson got a handful of votes for "Pattern Recognition" but just missed the list. Other great tomes with multiple mentions, but not enough to make the cut: Marshall McLuhan's "The Medium Is the Message," "Ted Levitt on Marketing," James Fallows' "Breaking The News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy" and Michael Lewis' "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game."

But in the end, it was the ad-focused classics that won the day, with Al Ries and Jack Trout's "Positioning" narrowly defeating "Ogilvy on Advertising" for the top spot. Mr. Ries snared the No. 3 spot, too, this time with his daughter, Laura, and "The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding." And just behind them, "e" by Matt Beaumont, a work of fiction, albeit one that several people noted closely resembles reality. "The characters are deliciously right on the money," said Carol Phillips of Oak Park, Ill. "I knew someone like everyone in the book. How could it be that all agencies have the same stereotypes?"

So here they are, your top 10 media and marketing books of all time.

1.
"POSITIONING: THE BATTLE FOR YOUR MIND"
Al Ries and Jack Trout
Buy it on Amazon.com!
2.
"OGILVY ON ADVERTISING"
David Ogilvy
Buy it on Amazon.com!
3.
"THE 22 IMMUTABLE LAWS OF BRANDING"
Al Ries and Laura Ries
Buy it on Amazon.com!
4.
"E"
Matt Beaumont
Buy it on Amazon.com!
5.
"HEY, WHIPPLE. SQUEEZE THIS: A GUIDE TO CREATING GREAT ADVERTISING"
Luke Sullivan
Buy it on Amazon.com!
6.
"WHERE THE SUCKERS MOON: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF AN ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN"
Randall Rothenberg
Buy it on Amazon.com!
7.
"GOOD TO GREAT: WHY SOME COMPANIES MAKE THE LEAP AND OTHERS DON'T"
Jim Collins
Buy it on Amazon.com!
8.
"THE BOOK OF GOSSAGE"
Howard Luck Gossage, Jeff Goodby and Bruce Bendinger
Buy it on Amazon.com!
9.
"INFLUENCE: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION"
Robert B. Cialdini
Buy it on Amazon.com!
10.
"BLINK: THE POWER OF THINKING WITHOUT THINKING"
Malcom Gladwell
Buy it on Amazon.com!

We'll leave the list open to comments so you can continue the argument, if you feel the need. But for now, you've crowned Al Ries and Jack Trout the reigning champions among marketing and media authors.

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