Real Life McCann Welcomes Fictional Agency

The folks at McCann Erickson probably liked, and disliked, the season finale of “Mad Men.” The episode featured Sterling Cooper set to be sold to 1960’s era McCann, an agency described as not a good one for Don Draper & Co. to work for.
2009’s McCann decided to play along:

McCann Erickson bought ads that appear in the Nov. 16 issues of the trade publications Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek, which carry the headline “Welcome, Sterling Cooper.”
The ads are signed, “Your friends at McCann Erickson” and include the address of a Web site, which is the site of the flagship New York office of McCann, part of the McCann Worldgroup division of the Interpublic Group of Companies.
Visitors to the Web site are being greeted by a video clip produced by McCann New York, which compiles various moments from the Nov. 8 episode in which the characters say “McCann” or “McCann Erickson.”
The clip ends with the words “Welcome, Sterling Cooper” and an excerpt from the theme to “Mad Men.”

Sterling Cooper isn’t portrayed as a hip progressive agency in the way DDB was in the early 60’s. So if Don Draper & Co. bash McCann for being big and bad, I shudder to think of how staid McCann really was then.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. The fictional Don Draper would like to think he’s as good as the real Bill Bernbach. But Draper’s ego won’t let him think small.

  2. Phil Dougherty says:

    Weiner probably picked McCann because Marion Harper (its CEO) was the first acquirer-conglomateur and was building Interpublic in that period.
    He also created Jack Tinker, the boutique from which Mary Wells really launched her career.
    Far from being staid, McCann and Harper were the most dynamic business people in advertising.
    Of course in five years, they would throw him out and he’d end up hiding in his mother’s house in Tulsa after a brief turn with Rosenfeld and Sirowitz