Old Farts Fight With Wise-Ass Youngsters Over Ageism
A recent thread in an industry forum focused on the issue of age and ageism in advertising. Like diversity, it's a hot issue and people take sides. One line of thinking holds "old folks" have no business in the industry because they are inflexible and unable to learn new things. Another line of thinking holds there's no replacement for experience.
While ageism is alive and well, it doesn't make it right. Attitudes that assume anyone over a certain age isn't capable of adding value are alive and well but that doesn't make them right. That line of thinking is idiotically stereotypical and lacks any consideration for the individual's, whether 20 or 80, ability to do a particular job well. It's like saying because you're a woman, all you should do is stay home and cook. Or, because you're black, you should just pursue a career as a hip hop artist. These are stereotypical statements with no basis in fact.
While it's true there isn't much gray hair in the advertising world, that's due to any number of reasons including "older" folk leaving to start successful businesses of their own after having endured the idiocy of too many wise-ass, know-it-all 20-somethings making fools of themselves in front of their equally stupid clients and having to bail them out.
Harsh? Sure. But so is the assumption anyone over 40 is a clueless idiot. Neither line of thinking aids this situation. People should be respected for their intelligence, not the number of candles on their birthday cake. There are just as many stupid 25 years olds out there as there are stupid 65 year old. Age is irrelevant. Or at least it should be. Thoughts?