Variety tells us that real-life advertising execs are complaining about Mad Men.

George Packer, who started in advertising in New York as a 20-something in the ’60s, laments, “Yeah, we all drank like fish and smoked like chimneys and screwed our brains out, but it wasn’t like that!”

Packer, who works as a blurb consultant and runs the popular Ad Rants blog, says he hates the show mostly because it gets period details wrong. The IBM Selectric came on the market in 1961, not 1960, for example.

Ummm…wrong? Or just nitpicky?

“I think it’s because a lot of people in advertising on the creative side are frustrated screenwriters,” says Packer. “There’s a certain snideness, ‘If I really had the time I could write rings around those guys.’ But then a lot of people in advertising are basically lazy.”

This reminds me of what was said about a show I loved, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. If it’s a hospital show, doctors and nurses will slam it. If it’s a cop show, cops hate it. If it’s based in New York, residents will bitch every time characters take the wrong subway to get to a particular part of town. But if you write a show about comedy television writers, then comedy television writers will bitch about it, and generally, these are people who also write reviews of television shows…which is a lot of what killed Studio 60.

Mad Men doesn’t have a huge audience, but it hasn’t alienated advertisers. It seems, however, to have alienated, well, Mad men.

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