20 October 2007

Baby boomers contemplate a variety of work options

Here's a piece by James E. Challenger:
Retirement Can Wait - Baby Boomers contemplate a variety of work options

According to a recent survey, eight in ten baby boomers plan to continue working in their retirement years. That's about 76 million fifty-something workers with no intention of quitting anytime soon ... Baby boomers are likely to be extremely adept at industry switching because of their diverse backgrounds and the fact that they are better educated than previous generations. The first step will be getting over the anxiety associated with change. After that, the opportunities for further career development are endless.
Not quite endless. Here's an email from someone who ...

Let's just say that if I mentioned the campaigns he worked on in the 1970s and 1980s, you'd be very impressed:
I know you are onto something regarding the Baby Boomer business … I wonder if there is a way for existing ad agencies to embrace this potential …There are a lot of other boomers who a) see age discrimination and/or b) wonder why the largest advertisers or agencies are not "getting it" ...

I have submitted my resume to the top 100 ad agencies and have received not a word. The people I know basically tell me that the agencies are looking only for young people. - Former Art Director, Grey Advertising
So what's the alternative? Here's another (expurgated) email:
Hi Chuck.
I'll try to keep this as short as possible ... Like you, I'm a copywriter/creative director/baby boomer.

I started my career at Doyle Dane Bernbach (when Bill Bernbach was still there), and have worked at Chiat/Day, BBDO, Ogilvy, FCB, and Dentsu. (During a phone chat a few days later, he mentioned that at his last job he was 'let go' when he turned fifty.) I was talking about it with my friend/art director/business partner, and found myself thinking that it would be interesting to start an "agency" that exclusively targeted baby boomers … At any rate, we recently got our first account … and I'm excitedly thinking we're on to something. Your company and book certainly help confirm that.
Sounds good to me. Of course, he has no other options.

And what about all those big agencies telling their clients that they are prepared to target the 50+ demographic? Should the advertisers believe them? And if they do - should the agencies, when creating campaigns, trust their guts?

Being a lightning rod for all things Boomer and Advertising, I'm forever amazed at the backwardness of the advertising industry. Will it ever catch up with the rest of the business world? Who knows.

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