11 September 2006

Managing Age Diversity in the Advertising Industry

Paula Sartini in South Africa has an excellent piece about diversity on MARKETINGWEB. A few quotes:
"The advertising industry is notoriously associated with young people, crazy ideas, wild parties, and general excessiveness. The average age in the industry is way below 30 …"

"During the last few years the industry has been under tremendous pressure to reflect a more diverse workforce, and although not substantial enough, some inroads have been made into the issue of racial mix …"

"Advertising agencies are in the business of creativity. They are also in the business of managing human perceptions. It's therefore interesting that although many tactics are employed to ensure creativity, agencies have traditionally not cottoned on to the fact that a more diverse workforce, inclusive of non-discriminatory age policies, poses the potential for greater competitive advantage."
Her article echoes major themes in my book, Advertising to Baby Boomers.

And if you think diversity is a problem only in places like South Africa, read this piece by Dianne Cardwell and Stuart Elliott of the New York Times:
Finding that just 2 percent of the upper echelon of the advertising industry is black, New York City officials said yesterday that they had reached agreements with several of the nation's biggest ad firms forcing them to bring more black managers into this crucial sector of the city's economy.

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