Mad Men and Booze

As a fan of the TV show and wannabe writer, I’m a bit more interested in the story than what they are drinking. But, a good friend pointed out some of the inaccuracies of the drinking habits portrayed.

For instance, people in the 1960s drank Canadian Whisky, Blended Scotch and Vodka began its ascent. In fact, Gin was already passé and in 1967, vodka sales surpassed it, no doubt with an assist from James Bond.

So far as vodka vs. whiskey was concerned, here is a memo from the late 1960s reportedly from J. Walter Thompson senior management. JWT was arguably the leading ad agency at the time…

“To all employees: If you must drink during lunch, please drink whiskey. It is much better for our clients to know that you are drunk rather than think you are stupid.”

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1 comment

  1. Interesting…I’ve been noticing the booze on the show from the first season. I figured the first year they were accurate, then there was probably product placement capitalizing on the Man Men craze. For example, the first season I believe featured Smirnoff as the vodka, then in Season 2 we saw Stoli. When Joan opened the case of Tanqueray and called it “the good stuff” I thought that has to be placement (though I love Tanqueray). Keeping up with the endless Mad Men partnerships is a full-time job 🙂

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