"Everyone says it's a fun show, but it's total bullshit."
Eighty-year-old George Lois is entitled to his opinion of Mad Men, especially since he practically inspired the show. After six decades in the ad industry, he's qualified to tell us what it was really like to work in advertising — and it's nothing like you see on television.
Even if you're not familiar with his name, you know his work. Lois has come up with ad campaigns for hundreds of iconic brands, from American Airlines and Xerox to ESPN and TIME magazine, to name a few. He's designed memorable logos for the likes of Nickelodeon and Jiffy Lube and prompted thousands to demand, "I want my MTV." In 1968, his Esquire cover of Mohammed Ali as Saint Sebastian became nearly as famous as the patron saint himself.
Lois is also the author of 10 books, his latest being Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!): How To Unleash Your Creative Potential by America's Master Communicator, and man, can he give it to us—straight.
A native New Yorker with a Greek heritage, Lois might come across a bit rough around the edges, but he's actually a charming, highly intelligent man with a lot to say, even if he likes to use foul language.
He adores strong women and big ideas, and he wants his fans to succeed in work, love and life.
We caught up with Mr. Lois (as he likes to be called) from his home in New York to hear his thoughts about Mad Men, women and why we should take his Damn Good Advice.