How ageist is the advertising industry? A new survey is about to find out

The advertising world has launched a campaign to tackle ageism in the industry.  MEC Wavemakers, the fifth largest media agency network in the world, has teamed up with industry magazine Campaign to launch a long-overdue survey on ageism in the workplace.  With clients ranging from Netflix and Paramount Pictures to Tiffany and Chanel, MEC has the global clout that’s necessary to back Campaign’s laudable initiative.   MEC UK’s chief executive, Jason Dormieux, said that the industry was in danger of losing a huge wealth of talent who are being forced out at 50.

It comes on the tail of the advertising industry’s collaboration with the fashion industry this spring when agency Adam & Eve/DDB teamed up with Harvey Nichols and used Bo Gilbert, a model born in 1916, in an advertisement to celebrate 100 years of Vogue. When she appeared in the June issue of Vogue, Bo Gilbert was the first ever 100-year-old model to appear in the magazine.

The new survey starts simply enough with questions like, ‘Would you like to see older people on billboards?’ and ‘What age do you expect to retire?’ but then asks more probing questions about what age we consider people to be old, whether younger workers are more productive and innovative or whether ambition is a more important quality than experience. It goes on to ask if we’ve ever considered having cosmetic surgery to look younger or routinely lied to our colleagues about our age. High50 applauds these sort of tough questions that are rarely – if ever – asked, let alone answered and looks forward to seeing a plethora of 50-somethings in the future using their unparalleled experience to help rejuvenate the industry.

Read the piece and and take the survey on Campaign.