The overwhelming majority of voters said the explosion of new media is pushing agencies to discriminate against older executives who may not be as conversant in those disciplines. Many voters defended the value of the older executive and pointed out the irony that those being ushered out are the baby boomers who have the high disposable income necessary to actually purchase new-media products.
"[Age discrimination] is so obvious it hurts. Not only in employment practice, but in the audience(s) agencies say their products need," said Edward C. Frey, principal of Frey & Associates, an independent ad-sales company in Williamsburg, Va. "They completely ignore the most affluent and powerful generation this country has ever seen-the baby boomers!"
Howard Margulies, creative director at Duncan & Associates in Los Angeles, said, "I'm a dinosaur that's been online since 1987. I wonder: Are 25-year-olds writing all those ads for products and services aimed at aging baby boomers? Can ad agencies not see the value in employing creatives in the demographic segment that they're pitching?"
But young people aren't the only ones able to keep up with tech trends, said Sheila Harrison, publisher of "The Business Guide: Houston." "Anyone smart enough to be a creative ad person should be smart enough to keep up with the digital revolution. I am 64 and have the latest PDA phone, the latest desktop and laptop computers, and constantly look for new tech gadgets," she said.