Monday, March 27, 2023

Discrimination! Old! Unimproved! And Entirely Welcome!

Once again, WPP, the holding company that of late has won more awards than seemingly any other (while it's gone from 150,000 employees in 2017 to about 115,000 today--about a 25% decrease) had published its glitzy annual report.

On the cover, they herald themselves as "The Creative Transformation Company." And throughout they trumpet their leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion. You'll find sprinkled everywhere, chest-beating platitudes about the progressiveness of the Holding Company. Things like this:

Wow, you might say to yourself (especially if you've never read Orwell or Viktor Klemperer's "Lingua Tertii Imperii") what a great, human company. What liberal values are they actively pursuing.

Then, you arrive at page 71. If you read this blog with some regularity, you might recognize the ring chart on that page. It's virtually the same as the ring chart on at least the last seven annual reports.

So, while the 60+ population around the world is growing--probably faster than every other demographic group, with those 50-59 growing almost as fast, since 2017 we've seen no increase in the employment representation of these groups. These groups represent about 30-percent of the world's population, yet within the walls of WPP, they are represented at less than 10-percent. 

In other words, if the world were made up of 100 people, 30 would be fifty or older. If WPP were made up of 100 people, 9 would be fifty or older. So, in terms of age-equality with a score of 100 meaning equal, WPP gets about a 28.

I have questions, of course.

And as always, I'll give space to any representative of WPP to write a response to this. I'll print it as is--with no editorial oversight on my part, aside from cleaning up grammar and spelling issues.

1. Why of all the "isms," racism, sexism, and others, is ageism acceptable?

If this statement is more than propaganda, why does it not apply to people 50 and older?

2. If WPP's age discrimination continues in the future as it has for the last seven years, why doesn't WPP issue a statement I'll call, "Age Discrimination: Why it's fair." 

Clearly, age discrimination cuts against the grain of WPP's avowed egalitarian beliefs. Why don't they tell us why that's ok?

3. Where have all the Clients gone? If discrimination of the sort perpetrated by WPP against people 50+ were being visited upon any other group, women, people of color, lefties, Clients would protest. Here we have pin-drop silence.

Which leads me to my final question.

4. Why is Age Discrimination legal? Or, better, since it's not, why is WPP allowed to flout the law with absolute impunity? 

My "firing class" back on January 14th, 2020 included 50 people. Twelve percent of those were over 60. 

Since only two percent of WPP is over 60, that means people 60+ were fired at 600 percent the rate of the rest of the population. Again, why is this ok?

I'd imagine the age scenario is much the same at IPG, Omnicom, Publics, Accenture, Dentus and Havas. These are the components of the oligopoly that control 80-percent of the jobs in the ad industry.

I make my same rebuttal offer to representatives of these holding companies and their law-firms.

Holding Companies, if you want to say I'm wrong and you're right, this is your chance.

Finally, if there's anyone left in the trade-press or any other investigative entity, I'm happy to talk. I'm even happy to hear I'm wrong.

A new feature. The obligatory survey:

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