Meet the real 'Mad Men'

In honor of the debut of the third season of 'Mad Men' on AMC, Fortune looks back at the real life ad giants who defined their decades and swayed the masses.

1 of 6
F. Wayland Ayer
F. Wayland Ayer
Morton Salt's iconic logo, created in 1912
With $250, the Philadelphian founded the first U.S. ad agency, N.W. Ayer & Son (named after his father), in 1869.

He changed the business by implementing the open contract, which allowed an agency to work exclusively for a client. Before that, ad firms bought space in a magazine or newspaper for the cheapest price possible and then marked up the price to sell to advertisers.

Ayer's company went on to create some of the world's best-known slogans, including "When it rains, it pours" for Morton Salt in 1912, "I'd walk a mile for a Camel" in 1921, and "A Diamond is Forever" for DeBeers in 1948.

NEXT: James Walter Thompson
Last updated August 14 2009: 11:16 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
10 things I learned at the New York auto show Auto shows these days are about as relevant as a dashboard cigarette lighter. But a careful observer can still pick up a thing or two. More
50 years of the Ford Mustang Take a drive down memory lane with our favorite photos of the car through the years. More
8 CEOs who took a pay cut in 2013 Median CEO pay inched up 9% in 2013 to $13.9 million. But not everyone got a bump last year. Here are eight CEOs who missed out. More
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.