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Read This: In real life, would Don Draper actually have been a terrible ad man?

The Internet is full of interesting things to read outside of The A.V. Club—no, really! In our periodic Read This posts, we point you toward interesting or noteworthy pieces that caught our eye.

Mad Men viewers are generally supposed to believe that while Don Draper might not be a great human being, he’s an absolutely great ad man. Business Insider has a great (albeit a month old) story about how, in comparison to what was actually running at the time, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s ad concepts were actually pretty terrible. For instance, while SCDP pitched Belle Jolie lipstick a sketchy drawing of a gamine girl, real cosmetics companies were using actual photos at the time. And SCDP’s Mohawk Airlines pitch might have showed a sexy stewardess’ butt, but the real Mohawk was pitching itself using photos of four actual flight attendants, all of whom were just waiting to serve the customer at 30,000 feet.


Business Insider has a number of images from different proposed and actual campaigns for readers to judge for themselves, but the evidence is fairly remarkable. Maybe Don and company really aren’t as great as everyone’s been led to believe.

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