A former employee of WPP-owned brand consulting and design firm Landor has filed a suit against her former agency, alleging her termination was "a result of flat-out age discrimination."
Suzanne Hernandez filed the suit Thursday in Supreme Court of New York in the county of New York against Landor Associates International. The suit charges that Landor "indulges in the same ageism that is standard in the industry," and says its website shows photos of "visibly young people" and uses language that "emphasizes 'building flexibility and adaptability' and the need to 'thrive on change,' and also boasts of 'pruning the things you want to get rid of.'"
"In an industry where the mission is effective communication, Landor's messaging is clear: age matters," the suit claims.
The suit says although Hernandez — an executive director of insights and analytics from October 2014 to June 2018 at Landor— was digitally savvy and an alum of Microsoft and other tech companies. But Hernandez, age 60, says in the suit she was "incompatible with the youthful image that Landor wanted to convey to the clients they were pitching."
Hernandez's attorney, Louis Pechman, of Pechman Law Group in New York, told Ad Age he hopes the case "shines a light on age discrimination in the advertising industry."
"There's a misguided perception in the industry that a millennial, wet behind his ears, is more valuable than a 60-year-old woman with a 30-year record of accomplishments," he said.