© Hilltop Consultancy 2012

“The Unprincipled”

by David Croydon

Background to The Unprincipled

When I started, or at least co-founded, a small sales promotion agency called Marketing Principles in Oxford 20 years ago, I had no idea about the dramas that would ensue, or the mixture of fun and games and pain and heartache that could be telescoped into 12 short years. I needed to get a lot of this off my chest for cathartic and purely selfish reasons, but in doing so, and in my current role as small business advisor/coach/mentor/NEC, I realised along the way that the lessons learned might be instructive as well as just entertaining, which is where it originally started. The title is taken from the scurrilous in-house ‘newsletter’ our creative department took to compiling a couple of time a year, to debunk any of our employees who… oh, just anyone who worked for us (including me). We begin the journey in 1985.  The key protagonists (at the beginning) all have gainful employment at another local agency, and on the face of it should be content with their lot.  But then this thing called ambition comes knocking, and a 12-year roller coaster ride begins. "The Unprincipled" is a warts-and-all record of starting, growing and finally selling a marketing agency in the 1980's and 90's. Part memoir, part business handbook, part comic novel, it catalogues the roller-coaster ride that was the business called Marketing Principles. As an introductory sample to its content and style, you can read chapter one free here. You can buy a paperback copy direct from this site using PayPal. I don’t have a merchant account, so can’t take credit/debit cards (yet), so if you can’t or won’t use PayPal, it is available through all good bookshops, or via Amazon and (hopefully) other online book emporia. It is also available as an e-book. You’ll need its ISBN number, which is 978 09536850 6 6. I would have preferred to publish through a mainstream publisher, so if you have any PR or publishing industry contacts of interest to suit The Unprincipled… Contact:  dave@hilltopconsultancy.co.uk or use my Contact Page  
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What others have said about The

Unprincipled:

Sarah "Gig Lamps" (Oxford, UK) said: This review is from: The Unprincipled: The Unvarnished Truth About Running a Marketing Agency - from Start-up to Sell-out (Paperback) "The Unprincipled" is utterly engrossing and direct. I read it last thing before bedtime and it ensures I go to bed giggling. This is the most entertaining book on business I have ever read and is by turns, informative, challenging and outrageously scurrilous. Dave Croydon gives us an honest, candid and funny expose of his setting up and running his own marketing agency. It could have done with some more editing (it's clear he used to play rugby - do I need to go further?) though there are some peachy lines, for example, of a private meeting room in his new offices, he describes it as, "handy for brainstorming sessions, say, or sackings, or a bit of sexual harrassment." He is disdainful of business advisers (although he is one!) and rubbishes a lot of the Total Quality Management of the '90s. He is particularly interesting when talking of the personalities (particularly of those defrauding his company) and how to motivate his staff (mostly food and a great deal of drink!). There is some useful insight that he has found valuable - such as personality profiling which gave him and his fellow directors powerful information in creating the profile of his ideal customers. I haven't finished it yet and am looking forward to this evening's read! Denis Sanders said: “This is a fabulous read, entertaining, amusing and within the solace are real good reasons how to run a business and how not to run a business.Nice one. Yvonne MacQueen said: “I was intending to read this on my iPad in Oz, but I just couldn't put it down - read it in the bath, on the settee, in bed.  First chapter is especially interesting for me, as I "was there" and remember that New Years Eve very well. A cracking read, flows well and made me laugh out loud so many times.  It also made me glad I got out of Sales Promotion or, rather, that Sales Promotion left me.” Paul Goddard said: “Part memoir, part business handbook, part comic novel: it's hard to categorise, and hard to put down, once you start.” Mark Catterson said: “Amusing, bile inducing and memory jogging in equal measures!” Mitch Kierstenson said: “I’m not a great reader of books. However, this particular book toook my eye because it was different and I thoroughly enjoyed it”
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