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June 19, 2013 4:28 PM

Mad Men's auto characters are fiction, but loosely based on reality

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Mad Men's Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton), sporting the results of an encounter with Detroit executives.
Jamie LaReau covers auto dealers for Automotive News

Maybe some auto executive or dealer really ticked-off a writer on Mad Men at some point and now that writer or producer is exacting revenge.

That's how it seems when the series repeatedly bashes folks in the auto industry, often taking misguided stereotypes to an extreme.

Sunday it was Chevrolet executives turn to get pummeled when fictional ad agency executive Ken Cosgrove referred to the Detroit car executives he worked for as, "Fat yahoos in cheap suits."

Cosgrove begged an agency partner to take him off the lucrative Chevy account even though it might set his career back. Cosgrove, about to become a father, feared for his life declaring he "hates Detroit."

He had good reason. Turns out the "yahoos" had taken him hunting and accidentally shot him in the face, leaving him injured with a patched eye.

In real life, Chevrolet had Campbell Ewald as its ad agency of record for nine decades until it lost the $600 million account in 2010.

But this hunting incident isn't entirely fictional. In 1959, retired General Motors President Harlow "Red" Curtice shot and killed retired GM Vice President, Harry Anderson, in a duck-hunting accident.

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