George Lewis Hates Mad Men

In an interview on the website Big Think George Louis, a famous ad man of the 60s recalls his early years from his graduation from the High School of Music and Arts, his time at Pratt University, where he met his future wife on his first day. Although he disliked his time at Pratt, he stayed to be with his future wife. He was told by one of his teachers that he didn’t need anymore schooling and was given the name of a woman who would give him his first job. After being drafted during the Korean War he joined CBS only to leave some time later. He went on to work at many unsuccessful advertising jobs before working with advertising greats such as Doyle Dane Bernbach and Bill Bernbach. He then left Doyle Dane Bernbach to start the second creative advertising agency.

The interview proceeds with the question of how accurate Mad Men is to the atmosphere in the 60s. Louis talks about a call he received from one of the producers of Mad Men who called him because his named had come up many times while they were interviewing the original mad men of the 60s. Louis, angered by the producers lack of knowledge of him or what he had done in the 60s tells him to look for his book Be Careful George which illustrates his growing up in New York to his founding of the second creative agency. Louis is later called back by the producer who, after reading the book, is astonished about all it contains saying “Oh, Jesus, wow, we could have done the show on that!"
In the interview George Louis gives a good summary of his early life as a budding designer and ad man in New York. Although the article gives a first hand account of the 60s from one of the founders of New York creative agencies, his hate for the show Mad Men seems more placed on the fact that he was offended the producers did not know who he was or come to him first. Whether or not the show is an accurate portrayal of the advertising firms of the 60s, it is a drama, not a History Channel documentary. At the end of the day, accurate or not, the show does what it’s meant to do, entertain.

1 comment:

  1. I was completely unaware of George Lois' past experience in the advertising business. It would have been interesting to see the show based on him, but in my opinion, the road that was taken was the right one. After all, it is a great show that has many viewers. Although it is on AMC, which is not a commonly watched channel, the way it is directed and the actors chosen is fantastic. The only worry I have with the show is the money that it is bringing in. I am hoping that the show can continue, but are not running on a high enough budget and it is entering the 70's, which is not as interesting of a time period for advertising. The show definitely does what a good show is supposed to do, entertain. George Lois' arrogance as a reason for his hatred of the show is pretty absurd. The show is quite accurate and entertaining, which is all that matters.