When advertising pioneer Jane Maas became the first woman copywriter to work on material for American Express, the account executives warned her.
"'Well Jane, the brand guys are kind of worried about a woman being on the account. They think if they turn down your ads, you'll cry. You may be met with a little bit of hostility when you go down there for this first meeting,'" Maas recalled them saying. "And we go down there for the meeting and the big boss CEO pulls out a chair for me and shakes my hand warmly, and I think this isn't going to be so bad as I thought and he says, 'Did you forget your steno pad, dear?'"
To "Mad Men" fans, this exchange will sound like it came straight from an episode of the television series about the '60s advertising world of Madison Avenue. But Maas actually lived it.
She rose through the ranks of Ogilvy & Mather to become creative director and later was named president of Earle Palmer Brown.
Maas, now 81, joined The Daily Circuit to discuss her experiences in advertising.
THE TAKEAWAY: "Mad Men" is realistic, when it comes to sex.
Kerri Miller's conversation with Maas included this exchange:
Kerri Miller: We see a lot of interoffice sex going on, on "Mad Men." Is it true? Was it?
Jane Maas: Yes. Absolutely. The fun reason is that the older, more senior men were the ones who were having the most extramarital sex. They had offices with doors that closed and locked. And they had couches. Vice presidents and above had couches, you see. It gave them advantages.
The serious reason that all these senior men were the ones who ended up divorcing their wives, I think, is because they were more married to the agencies. They worked every night until 8 or 9 o'clock, and then they'd go home to their suburban housewives. They didn't see much of them.
And meanwhile, at the office they were consorting with quite attractive secretaries and young women copywriters who shared their concerns — shared their victories when a client loved a commercial and shared their defeats when a client didn't. And it was just quite natural that these affairs developed, and ultimately these senior men left their wives and very often married the secretary or married the copywriter.
SEE SOME EARLY WORK BY JANE MAAS: