"Mad Men" links up with smoking charity for auction

Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:02pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Want a piece of the action with Don Draper?

Emmy-award winning TV show "Mad Men" is offering a walk-on role in the 1960s advertising drama in a charity auction that will partly benefit lung cancer treatment and research.

The 10-day auction, which starts on Thursday on eBay at 3.ly/madmen, is a unique twist on the smoking seen in "Mad Men", which meticulously recreates the social mores of the early 1960s.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the lung cancer program at southern California's City of Hope hospital -- one of the nation's leading cancer treatment centers.

"The smoking depicted in Mad Men was ubiquitous in the '60s world of Madison Avenue advertising and is a vivid reminder of how far we've progressed in our attitudes toward smoking since then," said Sandra Stern, chief operating officer at Lionsgate's TV arm, which makes "Mad Men."

Other items include furniture and props from the iconic Sterling Cooper ad agency, along with dresses worn by characters Betty Draper (January Jones) and Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) in the show.

"Mad Men", starring Jon Hamm as conflicted advertising executive Don Draper, has won two best drama Emmy Awards and goes into the 2010 Emmy ceremony later this month with another 17 nominations.

But audiences for the fourth season on cable channel AMC dropped 24 percent for Sunday's third episode to 2.2 million, down from 2.9 million for the season premiere on July 25, according to TV ratings data.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)

 
<p>Cast member Jon Hamm and actress Jennifer Westfeldt pose at the premiere for the fourth season of the television series "Mad Men" at the Mann 6 theatre in Hollywood, California July 20, 2010. The fourth season debuts on July 25. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>