To commemorate the 10th anniversary of David Ogilvy's death, (m)adman George Parker wrote this cockles-warming bit about his two experiences meeting him, and reflected on what the man stands for in the context of the industry.
I like this part:
He glared, snapped his red braces, (Well, I made that last bit up, 'cos it sounds like the kind of thing he would do) banged the table and shouted "Never forget, advertising is about selling".The legend of Ogilvy resonates because he possessed no misconceptions, no shame, about advertising's end goal: selling.
Then he was escorted out of the room by the minders.
Not to say there isn't art to persuasion. Ogilvy built on that foundation with another oft-quoted anecdote: "The consumer isn't stupid, she's your wife."
Philosophy in application: Ogilvy on Advertising is a book he had published expressly to shill his agency. Despite the motivation -- or rather, because of it -- it contains some marvelously good stuff that remains applicable today. It's also beautifully written.