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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : March April 2008
TH E INDU STR Y tives. The r epor t s uggested s olu- tions such as ag encies settin g u p training programmes to ensure their older employees are up to date with new technology and media; develop and e ncourage more flexible ways of working to ensure that work/l ife balance is p rop erly maintained ; look at thei r recruitment policies to ensure they are evenly bal anced; and demo nstrate mo re ef fecti vely the value of experience among their senior manage rs. The 20 05 IP A Agency Census found that the aver- age age for those in the highest lev- els of agen cy management in th e UK ( cha ir, CEO and m anag ing director) was 45.7 years. Fur ther- more, of the 15,751 people i n 240 member agencies, 48% of the work- force was under 30, while just 5% were over 50. “For a range of reasons – burnout, work/lif e balance, pres sure on agency payrolls – a gencies shed the ove r f ort ie s, re lentlessly. This results in a mas sive loss of valuable experien ce and i s a real c ost to cl ien ts,” c onc lud ed Hamish Pringle, director general of the IPA. Jef f Goodby, co-fou nder of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, says while there are peo- ple over 50 still working in the busi- nes s i n the US, it is defin itely a young p erson’s busine ss. He e sti- mates the average age at his agency to be under 3 0, but he r emai ns hands-on, and still writes and cre - ative directs on key accou nts such as Got Mi lk? , Budweiser an d Hyundai. Says Goodby: “It’s a business that could use more older people, it’s a business that could use more diver- sity and that includes g ender and racial di versi ty t oo … we h ave a bla ck writ er working for us, an African-American who said he’ll be happy w hen black peo ple ar e in really bad c ommercials, as we ll a s good ones. Black people right now are always the lawyer; when t hey are M r. Rippl e, we’ll kn ow ou r diversity policies are working.” He sugge sts creatives bu ild longevity into their careers by ta k- ing on some management responsi- bilitie s, or even switching over to running the administrativ e part of the bus iness, getting i nvol ved in hiring staff and dealing with clients. “They kind of resist that and leave it to other peo ple which pig eon holes yo u a s a writer or an art ist instead of a creative director type, I think you have to be welcoming of doing that other stuff,” says Goodby. The Cali fornian t hinks starting your own agency is a way to keep that ‘tree house feeling’ where you b ring a freshness t o what you are doing because you love it. One pers on who is not bo thered by all this talk of advertising being a young person ’s game is Mic hae l Pickering. Now a wr iter at M&C Saatch i’s DM off shoot M ark, he was 44 when h e got hi s first job in advertising. Now 46, advertising is Pickering’s third career – he worked as a law yer before relocating to London to study acting at the Royal Aca demy o f Drama tic Ar ts. He 16 CAM PA I GN B RIE F Goodby (left) with Warren Brown. Goodby says while there are people over 50 still working in the business in the US, it is definitely a young person’s business. He estimates the average age at his agency to be under 30. acted for a few years in the UK and on returning t o Sydney f ell b ack into law, working at a cit y firm while he did AWARD School. One of his teachers was Michael Simons, regional CD of Draft FCB, who off er ed him a job . Throu ghou t 2005 he worked half in law and half in advertising at FCB before going to FCB full-time, sh ifting over to Mark in July last year. Says Pickering: “I’ll just f ocus on the work, if the work gets done, the career will pretty much loo k a fter itself. If you ar e not enjoying what you are doing, then you should ge t out and do something el se you do enjoy. Knowing me I c ould e ven change my profession again before I retire.” Pickering doesn’t thin k b urnout will be an issue; saying in compari- son to the law advertising is m uch less intense. “I’ve always been a pretty creative person, s o advertis ing g ives me a chance to do t hat - t here isn’t a whole lo t of opportunity to be all that creative as a solicitor. The peo- ple you work with in advertising are much more alive and youthful and vibrant. If you work as a lawyer you are very muc h strap ped t o y our desk eig ht to twelve ho urs a day and you v ery rarely move away from it. I li ke the fact that at an ad agency you are constantly on your feet and moving around,” he says. He planned the tr ansition fo r some t ime by saving mo ney, an d apart from deliberately no t t aking on a mortgage he’s made plenty of financial sacrifices. There could be a lesson in this for others. Moult suggests one way to get around the problem of people getting more expensive a s they ge t older is to reverse t he pa y s cales. This would mean g oing t hrough your thirties at a high salary, before getting cheaper again if you want to stay in a job. Moult says: “People feel they have to get more money so they don’t get employed becau se you can ’t pay them. If you say to a young person here’s a job for $60,000 a year, they go cool, but say to an olde r person this is what we pay a nd they s ay, ‘the thi ng is Tom, I n eed more money’, and you go, why? You do need more money as you get older, or you think you do, but if some of our more mature cr eat ive peo ple wanted to stay in the business a nd thought about what they are g oing to be doing when they are fif ty o r sixty - if they can pri ce themselves MARCH /AP RIL 200 8 Moult suggests one way to get around the problem of people getting more expensive as they get older is to reverse the pay scales. This would mean going through your thirties at a high salary, before getting cheaper again if you want to stay in a job.
January February 2008
May June 2008