The Experience Advocacy Taskforce (EAT), in partnership with Advertising Industry Careers (AIC), is calling for anyone who has left a media or advertising company (willingly or unwillingly) to complete a short survey. The survey’s purpose is to gain some insight as to why only 5.1 per cent of employees in the industry are aged over 50.

The percentage of employees aged over 50 in the advertising industry is seven times lower than the average in other industries. In an industry defined by employees’ ability to tap into the zeitgeist – trends and demographics, the two bodies said that the industry’s “distrust of older people’s perspective makes no sense”. Employees over 50 have life experiences, industry connections, and understanding that add depth and rich insight to campaigns and content, they added.

Ageism is a hot topic at many conferences, most recently at Cannes in Cairns with a Debate Club session that saw the likes of Jane Caro, Josh Faulks and Angela Smith go head-to-head with a series of industry young guns. You can read all about it in Rochelle Burbury’s op-ed.

The debate noted ageism as being an equal-opportunity offender. When younger people are told “You’re too young to understand” – that too is ageism. Any age discrimination is a problem.

In her keynote at Cannes in Cairns, Jane Caro said that ageism remains the last acceptable form of discrimination. Whereas other prevailing prejudices in society—racism, sexism, homophobia— are all common but are generally deemed “unacceptable”.

Australia’s population has grown older, with the median age increasing from 33.0 years in 1993 to 38.3 years last year. The percentage of the population aged 65 and over has increased from 12 per cent to 17 per cent over the same period.

Currently, the average tenure in the media industry is less than three years and less than 10 per cent of the employees in adland have been in the industry for more than 16 years. What’s more, just 18.5 per cent of the media workforce is over 40 compared to the Australian workforce at 62 per cent. The bulk of academic research also shows that older individuals are underrepresented in mainstream media and when they are featured they are shown in stereotypical or disempowering ways.

Click the link to complete the survey.

Article from B&T 10th July 2024


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