There's a scene in the first episode of Mad Men when the ad agency pulls its only Jewish employee out of the mailroom and has him sit in on a meeting in order to impress a Jewish client. This is called "casting," and it happens in real life too! Today Jews are more adequately represented (we assume), but the ad industry is currently seeking another group for a starring role in central casting: the young. Because young people "get it" in this changing digital age, haha, supposedly! Veterans say this is stupid—mostly because they're scared of getting fired. But they're also right! The ad industry is in a downturn right now, just like the media. That means higher-salaried employees are the ones that agencies would most like to let go. Also, every client wants something "digital," and having taken their cues from Mountain Dew commercials, they're convinced that only young slacker types can truly deliver the audience they need buying their widgets. So, no matter how smart people are, you can't put any old folks in front of clients seeking young buyers, regardless of who actually comes up with the good ideas. And ruminate upon this quote:
"If you have 'interactive' or 'digital' in front of your title, you'll be paid 10-15 percent more in compensation," says Amy Hoover, evp at the industry's largest recruitment firm, Talent Zoo. "
So industry veterans hide in their offices, take pay cuts, and face layoffs while young upstarts plunder their ideas and reap the benefits. It's unjust. What other industry does that remind us of? Welcome to the digital revolution, ad people. —Hamilton Nolan, Interactive Digital Blogger (Of course when this plays out to its logical conclusion of actually letting young people make the decisions, the entire paradigm will crumble because of their ignorance and order will be restored.) [Adweek]