Advertising agencies were once run by the dominant class known as WASPS. Then in the 1950s the ethnic revolution came about during the Creative Revolution. But even back during this radical demographic change, people of color were little seen in the account or creative departments on Mad Ave. That’s why in 1969 when Bob Downey Sr. directed Putney Swope, the movie satire about an ad agency taken over by Putney Swope, an African American, and renamed “Truth and Soul Inc,” audiences took notice that only one white man was left standing (played by my old friend the late Stan Gottlieb, below). The dark comedy was a breath of refreshing air and gives Mad Men new meaning. (It was also the debut of Robert Downey Jr., as a six month old infant).
I just found that the film, which had only been on VHS is on DVD. It may seem a little dated, but well worth watching.