BBH recently decided to put together a World Cup of Advertising Books Tournament on Twitter, so they compiled a list, which was then voted on by nearly 5000 people.
As with most of these sorts of tournaments, some of the quarter or semi-finals could have indeed been the final, but the winner was a very worthy The Choice Factory, by Richard Shotton. (Follow him too on Twitter - he is a font of information: @rshotton
Amazon calls this book "the new advertising essential". I would agree.
"Before you can influence decisions, you need to understand what drives them. In The Choice Factory, Richard Shotton sets out to help you learn. By observing a typical day of decision-making, from trivial food choices to significant work-place moves, he investigates how our behaviour is shaped by psychological shortcuts. With a clear focus on the marketing potential of knowing what makes us tick, Shotton has drawn on evidence from academia, real-life ad campaigns and his own original research. The Choice Factory is written in an entertaining and highly-accessible format, with 25 short chapters, each addressing a cognitive bias and outlining simple ways to apply it to your own marketing challenges. Supporting his discussion, Shotton adds insights from new interviews with some of the smartest thinkers in advertising, including Rory Sutherland, Lucy Jameson and Mark Earls. From priming to the pratfall effect, charm pricing to the curse of knowledge, the science of behavioural economics has never been easier to apply to marketing. The Choice Factory is the new advertising essential." via https://www.amazon.co.uk/Choice-Factory-behavioural-biases-influence/dp/085719609X
Having said that, I think that the last 16 in the tournament are all essential building blocks; all the books in the quarter finals should be compulsory reading; and there are still many that aren't on there.
It's a worthwhile list to study and to stock up your digital or actual library. And, of course, they would love to know which books are a must-read that they have missed. Let them know via their twitter account: https://twitter.com/BBHLabs. Let me know too https://twitter.com/grightford
(click to see the full chart)