Advertising veteran Richard Gilbert tells Ad Age that Mad Men‘s depiction of the London Fog campaign—which he worked on himself—isn’t accurate:
All our ads were available, many in art-director annual collections. My memoir, Marching Up Madison Avenue, was also in print [and contained] a lengthy chapter on the history of London Fog and its advertising. It is also personally depressing to hear from some of the incredible young talents who worked for me asking, “Do they have a right to do this?”
He also faults the show more broadly for misrepresenting the zeitgeist:
Mad Men concentrates on a decaying era of American advertising at a time when we were actually experiencing a great creative revolution led by the incomparable Doyle Dane Bernbach. The industry also benefited from an exciting infusion of new talent with Jewish writers and Italian art directors bringing refreshing humor, warmth, irreverence, entertainment and believability to the printed page and TV screen. Mad Men, in truth, is locked in the ’50s, and by the early ’60s, the men portrayed were dinosaurs on their way to extinction.
Isn’t the chill of impending extinction Mad Men‘s bread and butter?
And, Italian art director: check.