Was Mad Men’s Don Draper really PKL’s George Lois?

I think you’ll enjoy this, a mini-documentary from Vice about legendary New York adman and designer George Lois (below), one of the founders of Papert Koenig Lois, the first agency to go public in the US back in 1962.

george-lois

Vice’s supposition is that Lois was the model for Mad Men’s Don Draper. He may have been in writer Matthew Weiner’s mind somewhere but he was not, as Lois was, an art director for a start. Don seems to have emerged fully fledged as a besuited creative director.

But a lot of Lois is in here, those famous Xerox commercials (you can also see them here, with words by George Parker), his “omnivorous ego” (according to former partner Papert) and the endless arguments over the famous things Lois claimed he did and what he actually did (might remind you of someone over here). There’s also an inimitable contribution from Jane Maas who has described dirty afternoon doings at Ogilvy and Y&R in exhaustive detail.

The Draper/Lois debate? A bit of Lois maybe but Draper was cut from a more traditional Madison Avenue mould.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.