ID Comms

But were creative directors ever like Don Draper?

Not in the UK they weren’t, even the big American-owned agencies like McCanns and JWT either had smoothly corporate intellectuals like McCanns’ Barry Day (who used to be paid for his musings by Campaign with vouchers at posh bookshop Hatchard’s) or Jacks the Lad out of the David Bailey songbook.

It didn’t work of course, the really good ones went to British-owned agencies like CDP and BMP.

So when you watch Mad Men you think, who are these guys?

There were plenty of people like account man Phil Geier, who went on to run Interpublic (some would say into the ground) who brought their brash habits as an American CEO to run McCanns in London, to great effect.

And even the mighty home-grown Saatchi & Saatchi was so awed by the US model of besuited, be-hatted Madison Avenue types that they gambled the firm on buying Ted Bates in New York for the then unheard-of figure in the 1980s of £500m ($600m) and lost.

Anyway I’m sure there were lots of men like Don padding around Madison Avenue in the 1960s and, no doubt, decades later.

It’s just that creatives have taken a different direction since.

And, looking at this clip, it’s not hard to see why:

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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