Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hey, Marc Pritchard, call my friend Marsha.

Dear Mr. Pritchard,

I read an article about you yesterday decrying the lack of equality as it appears in advertising and as it is evidenced in ad agencies.

You said, “[P&G reaches] five billion people on the planet every day and we’re the world’s biggest advertiser. We have both an opportunity and a responsibility for changing perception.”

You've done a lot, I'll admit advancing the causes of diversity and inclusion.  

As you put it, “We’re furthest along on gender equality in terms of building it into our business and our marketing. But diversity and inclusion is another major pillar and we are focusing on racial equality, LGBTQ and people with disabilities. We’ve done some good work on racial equality but we need to do more.

“As a company, we’re now focusing not just on millennials but boomers as well. That’s the next area – the age portion is probably the next frontier.”

The age part is what really hit me. The big four holding companies which account for something like 75% of the advertising jobs in the US—yet fewer than 7% of their employees are over 50 years old. (Nearly 33% of the population of the US is over 50.)

So, if equality leads to an “increase in trust,” and, even, “sales growth,” I’d thought I’d lend you a hand getting there—in finding people over 50 who know their way around the ad business:

Call Marsha. After 30 years at some of New York’s top agencies, Marcia works out of her home in Arizona now.
·       Call Tom. He’s been freelancing since he was let go a decade ago. Tons of experience, tons of awards.
Call Allison. Alison’s worked on some of your brands for over 20 years. She’s currently looking for work—preferably at her old salary.
·       Call David. 30 years’ experience. Currently working at a Barnes & Noble.
·       Call Edna. Let go yesterday after 12 years as a senior creative, 32 years in all.
·       Call Joe. Won awards. Lost his job.

Marc, I probably know 50 people over 50 who after long and storied careers were turned out on their ears. Or their asses.

I probably know 50 more people, or 100, who are over 50 and hanging on, so afraid of unemployment they’re quietly eating spiritual shit, or worse, they’re underemployed and earning a fraction of what they used to make.

Marc, if you need the full-names, links and phone numbers of these people, just give me a call. No charge. Just one consideration: be kind to me when my time comes.

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