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Opinion and Insight

Are Media and Advertising More Ageist Than Other Industries?

MEC Global, 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Research from YouGov shows that 42% of people working in the media and advertising have witnessed ageism in the workplace

Are Media and Advertising More Ageist Than Other Industries?

It seems people in the media, marketing, PR and advertising industry may experience higher rates of ageism compared with those in the general workplace, according to the new YouGov “Age in the Workplace” research commissioned by MEC and Campaign.

The research shows that 42% of respondents working in media and advertising have witnessed ageism towards others in the workplace and that 32% have experienced ageism towards themselves.

This is more than twice the average for the workers across Britain, where 19% of people say they have seen ageism towards others and 11% towards themselves.

The research also suggests that people in advertising, media, marketing or PR are more likely to feel that ageism impacts on job prospects, 40% of those aged 45 and over say that they have lost out on a job because they were too old, twice the number (16%) among British workers aged 45+. 

Overall, 1 in 5 respondents in these industries have felt they had lost out on a job because they were too old and more than half of these (56%) were told they were “overqualified” when being turned down for a job they feel they didn’t get because of their age and 25% were actually told that they were “too old” when being turned down for a job.

The research shows that 37% of people surveyed in media, marketing, PR and advertising see themselves in their current sector past the age of 50, compared to 63% of workers across Britain. Almost half (49%) of male respondents see themselves in media and advertising past the age of 50 but this falls to 30% for women.

In terms of the portrayal of people over 50 in media and advertising, the research shows that 31% of British adults would like to see older people featured in ads more often, with 44% stating they’d like to see “about the same” amount. Some 37% of adults aged 45 and over would like to see older people featured in ads more often.

And 72% of British workers feel they have not lost out on a job because of their age, either too young or too old. Showing that on the whole we try to hire people based on their skills. 

Jason Dormieux, the Chief Executive of MEC, said: “Diversity continues to be a big issue for the advertising and media industries, and rightly so. However, age and ageism have yet to form a part of this debate. Our ‘Age in the Workplace’ research and initiative, aims to highlight the positive power of embracing diversity in all its forms, including age, to ensure our people, our clients and our industry benefit.”

The YouGov survey had a total sample size of 2,125 GB adults, including a base of 831 workers within business sizes of 2+, the figures have been weighted allowing for a nationally representative and reliable insight on age and the workplace. The MEC/Campaign industry survey, hosted by YouGov, achieved 253 completed responses among workers in media/ marketing/ advertising/ PR.

The research was commissioned as part of MEC and Campaign’s Age in the Workplace initiative to raise awareness of ageism as an industry diversity issue. An event will follow on Monday, 28th November.

Genre: Strategy/Insight