Recently retired chief creative officer Ben Welsh has put his time away from the industry to good use self-publishing his first novel The Pitch.
A publication ten years in the making, Welsh told B&T it was only the freedom of the daily grind of agency life that gifted him the time and headspace to complete the work.
Welsh most recently worked at DDB, but spent 20 years before that at M&C Saatchi.
The book is a light-hearted exploration of what Australia’s ‘Mad Men’ and women get up to.
Its central character is Dan Atkins, Creative Director of advertising agency ADD, but the story revolves around something much more serious; a government pitch where the PM, threatened with defeat in the forthcoming election, needs a climate change campaign that buys his government essential green votes. While he is the ultimate climate change denier, he is also the consummate politician.
ADD is invited to pitch. We meet the advertising agency people. We discover how research groups are really ruling the world. And Dan goes from knowing very little about climate change to becoming aware and alarmed. This is thanks to Emma, who works at his local cafe and is doing a PhD in climate science. Dan starts falling in love.
Dan’s life away from work is complicated. He has a close relationship with his ex-wife Rachel, and an even closer one with two characters that appear in his subconscious – a limo-driving dwarf and an Emperor penguin.
In the end, the agency loses the pitch. The government loses the election, but Dan gets the girl – and not necessarily the one we think.
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