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Branding expert nabs best business book of the year Add to ...

A veteran of Canadian advertising beat out Conrad Black for a Canadian literary prize, scooping up the National Business Book Award for his critique of consumerism that urges people to realize they can force companies to be more accountable.

Bruce Philp, a former agency executive whose clients included Molson Breweries, ING Direct, Toyota, and Rogers, won the $20,000 prize for Consumer Republic: Using Brands to Get What You Want, Make Corporations Behave, and Maybe Even Save the World, published by McClelland & Stewart.

“The relationship we have with marketing and with branded consumerism has an ugly side,” noted Mr. Philp in his acceptance speech during a luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto on Monday.

“Yet it is, at the end of the day, the best thing about capitalism, because it is the only place left in our entire system where the average guy can be disappointed with his weed-whacker and make himself heard, and cause fear in a tower somewhere in downtown Toronto.”

The other two finalists for the award were Chris Turner’s The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy and Mr. Black’s controversial memoir, A Matter of Principle. The annual award is sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Bank of Montreal.

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