Matthew Weiner and his team get so many kudos for the authenticity of depicting the ad agency business of the 1960s, and much of it is merited, but the new season adds to many of the inaccurate portrayals of Mad Men's earlier seasons.
The vibrant colors of the knock-off Danish modern furniture, what the actors wear -- including those goofy hats -- continue to be spot on.
But as somebody who worked in New York, at Young and Rubicam at exactly this time, here's where Mad Men gets it wrong.
No secretary like the Joan Harris character would call a management meeting to order or preside over it.
No former secretary would be promoted to quasi chief financial officer.
No Brit-like Lane Price would be in town as a result of a British takeover of an American agency. The only major Brit on this side of the Atlantic was David Ogilvy who started his own agency.
No ad exec in his late 20's would be the big new business getter.Certainly not a twit like Pete Campbell. It would, because of the very conservative nature of corporate managements, be one of the older partners like Roger Sterling who would have the reputation and be able to gain their confidence. Drink with them too.
No head of new business would have an office inferior to the head of media.
No young exec would call a partners meeting in his office and have the four principals of the firm sit together on a little sofa built for two. He'd be stupid and soon outta there.
No young goof-offs would dare pull a prank like drop water on demonstrators from a window of the very proper Y&R. The first "scandal" in that neighborhood of Madison Avenue didn't occur until the 1980 s when a copywriter from a competitor agency across the street, TBWA, put a sign in his window saying, "Y&R Sucks."
No reception area of Young and Rubicam would have any colors on its walls other than the combination of green and white, the colors of Dartmouth college, alma mater of the then-CEO Sigurd Larmon.
I could go on about the sex and alcohol realities too.
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