51-Year-Old Creative Director Reminds Us How Dumb Ageism Can Be

By Patrick Coffee 

Ageism is here to stay in the ad business. We don’t have to tell you, because you told us last summer after a commentor on a certain other site brought the topic up.

It’s pretty basic, really: if you’re over 45 and you don’t have the words “chief” or “executive” in your title, big agencies consider you all but expendable. At the same time, the average age of a member of your network’s board of directors is probably, what, 65?

This equation doesn’t apply across all industries, though, and longtime copywriter Mark Moll (the guy behind “take your favorite non-ad person to work today” and “The Freelancer’s Opportunity-Based Day Rate Sliding Scale“) drew some inspiration from that fact to create a project pointing out how ridiculous the whole idea really is.


“Ideas Know No Age” reminds us that those who qualify to be AARP members can still come up with some cool stuff.

ageism 1

ageism 2


ageism 3

ageism 4

You may see a pattern developing here.

“Ageism in advertising might not be on par with problems like lack of female leadership or inclusion of minorities, but there’s an underlying feeling in our industry that only young people have ideas,” he wrote. “Things like ‘Young Guns’ and ’30 under 30′ lists don’t help.”

Well, how do we change this thinking? Maybe it’s by recognizing ideas that were done by people well past their youth. This might show once and for all that ideas don’t care if you’re 51, 21, or 81. And that a good idea is just a good idea.”

ageism 5

ageism 6

ageism 7