Fans all atwitter over 'Mad Men' social drama

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AMC's 1960s Madison Avenue drama "Mad Men" received a crash course in modern-day online advertising Tuesday after infuriating fans of social networking site Twitter.

Twitter shut down accounts inspired by the show after AMC contacted the company with concerns about its content. The fan-penned feeds consist of brief text-message-length posts in the voices of "Mad Men" characters. Users can subscribe to the daily musings of virtual Don Draper, Peggy Olson and other employees from the fictional firm Sterling Cooper.

AMC didn't appreciate that some of the characters promoted products other than the show (including Twitter itself). After Twitter yanked some of the feeds, the surviving "characters" started frantically Twittering about getting "fired."

"I worked hard," the faux Olson wrote. "I did my job. But the boys at Twitter are just as churlish as the boys at Sterling Cooper."

The shutdown resulted in bloggers and Twitter fans slamming AMC: "Its legal maneuvering may go down as the single worst use (misuse?) of social media," Adrants.com wrote.

Network sources say AMC wanted merely to discuss the feeds with Twitter and did not intend for the feeds to be yanked — and certainly did not wish to cause a headache-inducing online backlash. After all, Twitter is essentially promoting the critically acclaimed yet modestly rated drama to young online users. This is free advertising, and Don Draper would certainly approve.

By end of day Tuesday, the Twitter character feeds were restored.

"I'm back," Olson wrote. "Thanks so much to all who offered their friendship during this trying time." (partialdiff)
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