Up 9,717 this week

How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)

R  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy  |  29 March 1990 (West Germany)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 4,047 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 39 critic

Dennis Dimbleby Bagley is a brilliant young advertising executive who can't come up with a slogan to sell a revolutionary new pimple cream. His obsessive worrying affects not only his ... See full summary »



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video


10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 11 Feb 2012
a list of 45 titles
created 05 Aug 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 30 May 2013
a list of 24 titles
created 20 Jan 2014
a list of 44 titles
created 01 Aug 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)

How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of How to Get Ahead in Advertising.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Withnail & I (1987)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

London, 1969 - two 'resting' (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with damp, cold, piles of washing-up, mad drug dealers and psychotic Irishmen, decide to ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Robinson
Stars: Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Nick and Frank Starkey were both policemen. A scandal forced Nick to leave the force, now a serial killer has driven the police to take him back. A web that includes Frank's wife, bribery, ... See full summary »

Director: Pat O'Connor
Stars: Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Susan Sarandon
Awful Nice (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

When Jim - a disenchanted yet highly popular college professor - learns of his father's death, he must track down his deadbeat brother Dave and deliver him to the funeral. Upon arrival, ... See full summary »

Director: Todd Sklar
Stars: Christopher Meloni, Laura Ramsey, Henry Zebrowski
Moonlighting (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Polish contractor, Nowak, leads a group of workmen to London so they can provide cheap labor for a government official based there. Nowak (Irons) has to manage the project and the men as ... See full summary »

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Eugene Lipinski, Jirí Stanislav
Blast (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Terrorists are holding the U.S. Olympic swim team hostage, and only the janitor can stop them.

Director: Albert Pyun
Stars: Linden Ashby, Andrew Divoff, Kimberly Warren
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jim and Dave are brothers. They haven't spoken in years and don't like each other very much, but are forced to come together for a week when their dad dies in Kansas City. Alonzo Mourning ... See full summary »

Director: Todd Sklar
Stars: James Pumphrey, Alex Rennie
Box Elder (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Box elder bugs are loud, scary looking, and dependent on group swarming. Yet, they're also completely harmless and extremely passive aggressive. Using this metaphor to address a generation ... See full summary »

Director: Todd Sklar
Stars: Hina Abdullah, Kyle Ayers, Andy Cohen
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Harold, a prosperous English gangster, is about to close a lucrative new deal when bombs start showing up in very inconvenient places. A mysterious syndicate is trying to muscle in on his ... See full summary »

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Dave King
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A physical comedy about yearning

Director: Bob Byington
Stars: Justin Rice, Kevin Corrigan, Pat Healy
Devil's Deal (2013)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.9/10 X  

In the town of Burning Bush, the Devil comes to collect the souls he was promised and will destroy anyone or anything that gets in his way.

Directors: Justin Mosley, Allen Reed
Stars: Mathew Greer, David K. Shelton, Kari J. Kramer
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Todd Sklar
Stars: Alex Rennie, Hiedi Arni, Cheryl Black
Empires (TV Movie 2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The series follows four post-graduate men who are attempting to become professional video-game players in lieu of taking career jobs.

Director: Todd Sklar
Stars: Hina Abdullah, Davis Choh, Andy Cohen


Cast overview, first billed only:
Denis Dimbleby Bagley
Julia Bagley
John Bristol
Jacqueline Tong ...
Penny Wheelstock
Susan Wooldridge ...
Hugh Armstrong ...
Harry Wax
Mick Ford ...
Jacqueline Pearce ...
Gino Melvazzi ...
Victor Lucas ...
Tweedy Man
Dawn Keeler ...
Tweedy Woman
Kerryann White ...
Girl in Elevator
Vivienne McKone ...
Sullivan Bristol Receptionist


Dennis Dimbleby Bagley is a brilliant young advertising executive who can't come up with a slogan to sell a revolutionary new pimple cream. His obsessive worrying affects not only his relationship with his wife, his friends and his boss, but also his own body - graphically demonstrated when he grows a large stress-related boil on his shoulder. But when the boil grows eyes and a mouth and starts talking, Bagley really begins to think he's lost his mind. But has he? Written by Michael Brooke <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Career Where Two Heads Are Better Than One


Comedy | Fantasy


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 March 1990 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Come fare carriera nella pubblicità  »

Box Office


$418,053 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The classic Aston Martin seen in the Bagleys' garage belonged to writer/director Bruce Robinson. A 1961 DB4 Convertible of which only 70 were made, he owned it for 30 years and it was auctioned off in 2008. See more »


After Bagley has lunch with his wife, she drops him back at the advertising firm's office building, but it is a different building to the one used for the interior scenes, which is the tall red building several hundred yards up the street (visible in the crane shot of their car pulling up), right next to the Lambeth bridge, as we can see from the window view in the scenes in Bagley's and Bristol's offices. See more »


[first lines]
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: Let me try and clarify some of this for you. Best Company Supermarkets are not interested in selling wholesome foods. They are not worried about the nation's health. What is concerning them, is that the nation appears to be getting worried about its health, and that is what's worrying Best Co., because Best Co. wants to go on selling them what it always has, i.e. white breads, baked beans, canned foods, and that suppurating, fat squirting little heart attack traditionally known as ...
See more »


Featured in The Peculiar Memories of Bruce Robinson (1999) See more »


Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity from the Planets Op. 32
Composed by Gustav Holst
Conducted by Allan Wilson
Published by J. Curwen & Sons Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Vidiot Reviews...
24 August 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

How to Get Ahead in Advertising

The best way to get ahead in advertising is to know the devil.

Unfortunately, since the frazzled ad man in this comedy isn't acquitted with Lucifer, he will have to get a head literally.

With a growing concern over the ethical nature of his profession, ad executive Bagley (Richard E. Grant) becomes mentally unhinged.

While struggling to come up with a slogan for a zit cream, his mania is compounded by the appearance of a pustule on his shoulder that has begun to speak to him.

In addition to the power of verbalization, over time, the abnormal abscess develops a mouth, eyes and a face, which is strikingly similar to his own, save for the moustache.

A stimulating and surreal British satire, How To Get Ahead in Advertising is a paradigm of the psychological mindset needed to survive in marketing.

Furthermore, having two heads means there's always someone to make-out with. (Green Light)

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How did everyone discover this film? justsomerandomirrelevantweirdo
Does anyone else see the hypocisy?! ozkit2003
UK Region 2 DVD????? Stephen_Work
CZT beserker68
Better than porn???? jgoldman77
The Closing Speech Music manofasia
Discuss How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: