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FAAAC attacks ageism in advertising – the scandal that inclusivity tsars dutifully ignore

See that Interpublic’s R/GA, once the high flying digital agency, is laying off 15% of its US staff. Wonder how they chose them and how old they are?

The newly-minted Federation Against Ageism Towards Ad Creatives (FAAAC) probably has an idea – that they’re old. Only 5% of agency employees are over 50 they say, and not many of these are creatives. We all know the answer of course: they’re the bosses, the ones who somehow or other evaded the axe when they started to cost more.

Titled ‘The Last March Of An Ad Creative,’ the video features a male creative pinning clamps to his nipples and allowing himself to be a bean-counter’s punchbag.

Just noticed that Omnicom’s TBWA has promoted its chief diversity officer for North America Aliah Berman to a global role. Ms Berman will doubtless be poring over the stats to see how many BAME people work there, especially in senior roles.

But will she look at the age profile? Agencies, trade associations like the UK’s IPA and Advertising Association, and some media are forever marking companies up and down on their inclusivity – while totally ignoring the biggest area of discrimination in adland, age.

WPP’s JWT, before it disappeared into Wunderman Thompson, was taken to court in the UK a couple of years back for just such discrimination. It mostly settled and the issue was booted into the long grass.

Sir John Hegarty has remarked the advertising, through its obsession with the new, is the only major industry that completely ignores its past – to its detriment. Consigning people to the past Logan’s Run-style is one major manifestation of it.

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