Douglas & McIntyre

Book details:

February 2018
ISBN 978-1-77162-181-6
Hardcover
6" x 9"
232 pages
16 b&w photographs
Biography & Autobiography / Business BIO003000
$29.95 CAD

Douglas & McIntyre

Let's Get Frank

Canada's Mad Man of Advertising

The life of a Canadian advertising legend, in all his ferociously competive, flawed and flamboyant glory.


Frank Palmer is a legend in the Canadian advertising world. He not only developed Palmer Jarvis, one of the country’s most acclaimed marketing communications agencies (and then became chairman and CEO of DDB Canada after selling Palmer Jarvis to the multinational ad giant), he is also credited with changing the face of Canadian advertising.

“He’s the only Western Canadian ad man who went to Toronto and wound up owning the town,” says former employee and now friendly rival Chris Staples.

Fellow ad man Bob Bryant elaborates, “What Frank also did that no other agency owner was able to do was become a star. No one else personified a company the way he did. He became the iconic brand of his own business.”

Palmer has earned a reputation for obtaining clients at any cost. He has clawed his way to prominence with wit, an uncanny knowledge of what constitutes effective advertising, and a business acumen nothing short of encyclopedic. Having started out as the boy last chosen for the baseball team by his peers, he set his sights on living his life in the role of the chooser—not the one waiting to be chosen.

Palmer is a fascinating study in contrasts. Though he always took his role as an employer seriously, at times his private life was a mess. And while his bald head and thick neck give him the look of someone you wouldn’t want to encounter on a dark street, he’s a notorious trickster—be it by placing an octopus under a colleague’s pillow or lacing a friend’s coffee cup with dental anaesthesia. At the same time, Palmer is almost as well known for his philanthropic work as for his business acuity and practical jokes.

In this lively biography, Robin Brunet captures the exhilarating experience of being in the presence of such a charismatic and driven man. Brunet’s wealth of interviews with the man himself and those who know him best get to the root of what it means to be Frank Palmer.

About the Author

Robin Brunet

Robin Brunet has been a full-time writer, editor and journalist since 1982. He has been published in over one hundred magazines across Canada ...

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