Wednesday, July 30, 2008

5759: Mad Men Is A Period Piece—For 2008.

The season’s first episode of AMC series Mad Men featured the standard Sterling Cooper stereotypes:

Admen disrespecting their female counterparts.

Cultural cluelessness when creating ads for Mohawk Airlines.

Blatant displays of ageism and cronyism.

Foreigners portrayed as potentially ignorant.

Minority roles for minorities (maintenance men and maids).

If not for the wardrobes, you’d think it was Madison Avenue 2008.


Anonymous said...

your comments would be funny if they weren't so so true

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you had to experience this kind of hostile environment, as you seem to have worked in the industry for some time.

Meanwhile, I'm a minority who is seeking entrance into this very field. What words of encouragement or hope do you have?

I believe there must be small glimpses of innovation that, eventually, can lead to exponential change. How can minorities use the democracy of the internet to compete with larger shops?

Are you harping on the big ad firms b/c you think they are dying, and it's only too easy now?

HighJive said...


Don’t let the criticism presented at this blog dissuade you from pursuing a career in advertising. Much of what is being pointed out here is really intended for the current industry participants and leaders to consider. The goal has never been to steer people away; however, you should be cognizant of the potential challenges ahead.

The newer generations will have an easier time than their predecessors—mostly because these generations are inherently more enlightened and diverse. Hopefully, the majority of the newer generations will only minimally deal with the hassles of a segregated and not-very-diverse industry.

At the same time, the industry has been very slow in creating deliberate and measurable change. People talk the talk about wanting to do better—and even declare we must do better—but rarely walk the walk. The primary goals of this blog include attempting to keep the issues in the collective consciousness, not allowing folks to put things on the proverbial back burner. Other goals include simply exposing people to issues and events beyond their personal cultural comfort zones. Real change will only happen when there are honest and open discussions by all parties, inspired by transformational awareness and understanding.

Plus, it’s fun to spank the people in authority every now and then.