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The adman as artist

Advertising went through one revolution in the 1960s. It may now be experiencing another

By Leo Benedictus   April 2008

In the opening scene of the US advertising drama Mad Men, now showing on BBC4, Don Draper—the strong, silent type of creative director—is alone in a bar, grappling handsomely with a problem. How can he convince people to smoke Lucky Strike despite the recently revealed—this is 1960—health dangers? He begins a conversation about smoking with his waiter. As Draper jots the man’s words on to a napkin, we see the seeds of an idea begin to germinate in the furrows of his brow…

In dramatic terms, Mad Men is not quite as good as it is being made out to…

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