Almighty Talks Again in Book Form, City Patois

Charlie Robb, creative director of the original “God speaks” outdoor campaign, has put his name on a slender new book with the same title.
Three messages from the first series are joined by 67 pithy new white-on-black executions. The work follows the prototype’s nondenominational, mon-otheistic vein, with copy such as “I heard your prayer; I just don’t care who wins the game,” “Trust me” and “Live like your afterlife depended on it.”
It was the book deal that led to Robb’s dismissal from Smith-, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shop initially hired by the campaign’s anonymous sponsor. It still holds the rights to “God speaks” as an ad concept.
Robb and the agency’s ousted president, Andy Robb, subsequently opened an epo-nymous ad shop in Fort Lauderdale.
God Speaks, the book (Villard, $14.95), credits Robb as “editor,” not writer. “The idea of a book like this being [written] by me is very different than one edited by me,” Robb explained.”It would be kind of presumptuous . . . I’m already forging His name on stuff, you know?”
Villard’s parent, Random House, does not provide sales numbers, but its publicity manager, Brian McLendon, said the book’s first printing totaled 125,000 copies. As of last Tuesday, listed the title in 3,748th place on its sales list.
While would not comment on the book, Robb said he was disappointed by the new campaign, which broke last month. It takes a more urban turn with phrases such as “I’m everybody’s homey” and “Let me be your ecstacy.”
“I think it’s too bad that they didn’t maintain the integrity of the original campaign,” Robb said. “This stuff is combining evangelistic thinking with gangsta rap. Make sure you get in print that I have nothing to do with it.”