Sunday, August 31, 2014

12028: Old White Guys Endangered?

Campaign published a piece by High50 Editor-in-Chief Stefano Hatfield titled, “Talking about my generation,” which examined the growing and potentially profitable “superboomers” being ignored by most advertisers. Wondering why brands are not actively wooing an audience that controls 79 percent of U.K. disposable wealth, Hatfield speculated the following:

Can it be as simple as the fact that the average age of an employee in the UK ad industry is 33 (IPA Agency Census 2013) or that only 6 per cent of its employees are over 50?

Wow, 50-year-old employees are yet another minority in the ad game—although excluding mcgarrybowen, it’s unlikely that the elder workers control 79 percent of Madison Avenue’s disposable wealth. Then again, the holding company honchos might control over 79 percent of the wealth. Regardless, given that the U.K. advertising industry appears to mirror the U.S. advertising industry in terms of diversity, it’s safe to presume the boomer percentages hold up for American adpeople as well. In short, Old White Guys may be the industry’s new endangered species.

Sound the alarms! Order the Chief Diversity Officers and Diversity Development Advisory Committee members to start scouring inner-city assisted living facilities and nursing homes for candidates pronto. Why hasn’t the 3% Conference launched a 6% Conference spin-off (hell, Cindy Gallop could run the thing alongside her porn program)? The AAF can add grey to its Mosaic Center, while the 4As introduces GAIP—Geriatric Advertising Intern Program. ADCOLOR® should hand out a Silver Fox Award presented by AARP and Depend. And God only knows what senior citizens like Dan Wieden, Jeff Goodby and Sir John Hegarty could bring to the party. Battle stations, boomers!

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