Ageism is a big problem for people working in the ad industry and it impacts their job prospects, according to a YouGov study research commissioned by media agency MEC and trade magazine Campaign.
The study, which surveyed 253 advertising, marketing, media, and PR industry employees, revealed that the majority of respondents (79%) think the industry comes across as ageist.
Ageism in the ad industry is also significantly worse than the British workplace average, the study shows.
Almost a third (32%) of respondents have experienced ageism towards themselves, almost three times the British average of 11%, whilst 42% of the ad industry employees polled have witnessed ageism towards others, almost double the British average of 19%.
Ageism also impacts job prospects, the study suggests. A quarter of respondents were turned down for a job for being “too old,” and more than half of those (56%) were told they were overqualified.
The average age of employees at all member agencies of professional trade body the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has remained 33.7 since 2009.
Age is the advertising industry’s “big rhino in the corner,” Robert Campbell who currently runs High50, a lifestyle brand for the over-50s, told Campaign: “We are all going to get old, but everyone is in love with youth.”
The chief executive of media agency MEC Jason Dormieux thinks age and ageism are not part of diversity conversations in the industry.
In a press release to accompany the survey findings, Dormieux said: “Diversity continues to be a big issue for the advertising and media industries, and rightly so. However, age and ageism have yet to form a part of this debate. Our ‘Age in the Workplace’ research and initiative aims to highlight the positive power of embracing diversity in all its forms, including age, to ensure our people, our clients, and our industry benefit.”
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