Mad Men's got one of the most recognizable opening title sequences of any show on TV right now. The figure of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) falls along the skyscrapers of Madison Avenue amidst the advertisements he uses to manipulate the American post-war consumer. It won an Emmy Award in 2008 for Outstanding Title Design.
One of these advertisements is a 1950s Revlon hairspray ad shot by the legendary Richard Avedon. The model, Gita Hall May, filed a suit in Los Angeles yesterday that claims they used her likeness without her knowledge or consent. "The main titles were integral to the success of Mad Men...the creators of this title sequence (this being Hollywood) fully hoped that they would sell the pilot, sell the series, and make millions. As it turned out, it made them billions, and (this being Hollywood) Defendants have since made every effort to...exploit the program and pocket the proceeds," the claim says.
The ad in question
Lionsgate (they own Mad Men) has made no comment yet. It seems awfully reckless for the sequence's creators to appropriate commercial images without permission. Then again, the image probably belongs to either Revlon or Avedon, so it's possible they got permission from one of them.
Gita Hall back in the day
Although the show's been on for several years, Hall says she only saw it last year since it's on cable.