"Mad Men"-Inspired Book Deconstructed by Real Life Ad Man

Roger Sterling will tell you what brilliance is -- and much more

By Mac Montandon
|  Thursday, Nov 18, 2010  |  Updated 3:20 AM PDT
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Real or Wax? Celebrities and Their Doubles

What does a real mad man say about a "Mad Men" character's wit and wisdom?

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It's not uncommon for books to become television shows (hello, M*A*S*H!). It's far less common for TV to give us a book.

But "Mad Men" is not your average series and the bemused, hard-drinking soul of the program, ad industry lifer Roger Sterling, is not your typical character. And so the volume Sterling began writing on the most recent season of "Mad Men," a memoir of  Madison Avenue love and loss called Sterling's Gold, is out this week as a real-life book featuring the "wit and wisdom of an ad man."

The speedily published project (it took about three months from TV episode to hardcover book) collects many of Sterling's most glittering bon mots on topics such as: Clients, Creatives, Seduction, Women, The Good Life and Business Ethics. It's closer to a page-a-day calendar than a meaty memoir, but as big fans of the show and the character, we ain't complaining.

So how much wit and wisdom, exactly,  does Roger Sterling (or, really, the writers behind the actor John Slattery who plays him) have? To find out, we asked real-life Mad Man, Donny Deutsch, TV host and Chairman of Deutsch Inc. Advertising Agency, to comment on five of our favorite Sterling-isms. Here's what Deutsch had to say:

1. Sterling: "I'll tell you what brilliance in advertising is: ninety-nine cents. Somebody thought of that."

Deutsch: "Couldn't agree more. It's always the simplest and most basic selling propositions that are the best. Bravo!"

 2. Sterling: "I don't know if anyone ever told you that half the time business comes down to: 'I don't like that guy.'"

Deutsch: "How true. Advertising is a relationship business and that's a reality you just have to deal with. By the way, even if a client loves your idea and they don't like you, they're probably not going to work with you ... nor should they. Would you hire someone you didn't like?"

 3. Sterling: "You know what my father used to say? Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get into it for the wrong reasons and eventually they hit you in the face."

Deutsch:"The reality is when you're pitching a client you need to be true to who you are. If you sell yourself based on who you're not, it's not going to work."

4. Sterling: "When a man gets to a point in his life when his name's on the building, he can get an unnatural sense of entitlement."

Deutsch: "Don't I know it!"

 5. Sterling: "The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them."

Deutsch: "Understand that no client is forever and who said they're supposed to be?"

And there you have it. Seems that the boozy, blustery character of Roger Sterling actually makes a lot of sense in real life.
 

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