Managing Marketing: Ageism In Advertising And The Role of Stereotypes

Sue Parker is the Executive Job Search Strategist at the Dare Group, who recently wrote a piece for mUmBRELLA sharing her opinions on the missed opportunity in the latest Meat and Livestock Australia television commercial for Lamb titled The Generation Gap

Her article was independently picked up by LinkedIn News Australia and put the topic of ageism and stereotypes at the top of the agenda. 

Stereotypes plague the advertising industry. On one side, we have many suggesting they are simply a short-hand way to communicate or identify a character, audience or type of person. On the other, research suggests that these stereotypes in-grain and support associated behaviours in society – from gender inequities to age and racial discrimination.

Sue shares her perspective on the topic of ageism, of which she is passionate and well-informed.

You can listen to the podcast here:

Follow Managing Marketing on SoundcloudPodbean, Google Podcasts, TuneInStitcher, Spotify, Apple Podcast and Amazon Podcasts.

They have a limited amount of time. So, relying on stereotypes is a way to quickly say, “Well, here’s the old people. Here’s the very young, here’s the in-between.



Hi, I’m Darren Woolley, Founder and CEO of TrinityP3 Marketing Management Consultancy. And welcome to Managing Marketing, a weekly podcast where we discuss the issues and opportunities facing marketing, media, and advertising with industry thought leaders and practitioners.

If you are enjoying the Managing Marketing Podcast, please either like, review, or share this episode to help spread the word and wisdoms from our guests each week.

Now, stereotypes plague the advertising industry. On one side, we have many suggesting they’re simply a shorthand way of communicating or identifying for the audience. And on the other, research suggests that these stereotypes ingrained and support associated behaviors into society, from gender inequalities to age, and racial discrimination.

My guest this week recently wrote a piece for Mumbrella sharing her opinions on the missed opportunity in the latest version of the Meat and Livestock Lamb television commercial, which is titled The Generation Gap. LinkedIn News Australia also picked up the piece independently.

We’re going to discuss that today, so please welcome to Managing Marketing Podcast, Executive Job Search Strategist of DARE Group, Sue Parker. Welcome, Sue.


Hi Darren, thanks for having me.


Look, I thought it was terrific that each year we have the Meat and Livestock share Lamb commercial for the last 20 years, and then this year you quickly appeared on Mumbrella saying, “Whoa, everyone, there’s an opportunity here that has been completely overlooked.”

Before we get into that bit, what was it that really stood out to you? And perhaps just give us a description of the ad for those that haven’t seen it.


Sure. Well, The Generation Gap was a brilliant concept, there’s no doubt about it. A concept where you’re using humor and parody to make salient points is fantastic. Australians are great to take, as I said in the Mumbrella to take the piss out of everybody.

And the ad was talking about, with fissures of each generation in their stereotypes, opening with “Welcome to Boomertown,” with what looked like an 80-year-old bloke on a bike flicking newspapers and then a woman with a phone, without the light on looking like a technology imbecile opening in the context of boomers.

And so, the concept of the ad was essentially that all generations share a love of lamb over a barbecue and the Generation Gap, and the fact that there was probably more in common than what is accepted.

And so, it was a great concept. I mean, the lines in that campaign were absolutely terrific. There was some terrific one-liners that really were outstanding. But-


Do you have a … sorry to cut you off, but do you have a favorite one? Because mine-


Yeah, Submarines. Submarines.


Yeah, yeah, exactly. It was an impulse purchase.


I mean, talk about hitting the ball on the head, that was amazing. And that was a cracker line. It was a cracker line, and that is very, very smart marketing to do that. But it really hit me like a Samboy chip Darren, how they misrepresented the generations.

Once again, boomers were lumped in as more the silent generation, which is the next generation up, as typical as in all media and all advertising and journalism, anything talking about late 50s over 60s, they’re lumped into the next generation. And so, there was a misrepresentation there.

And also, what was really sad was the misrepresentation of what Generation Jones is, which are people between, sort of stuck in between boomers and Gen X. So, the ad had a real opportunity to smack stereotypes on their head.

But unfortunately, whilst they took the piss out of every generation, boomers really got a hit. And it really, really demonstrated the perceptions in media land that boomers and anyone over 55 is pretty old. So, that was what really was a missed opportunity.


Well, I’ve had other friends that are Gen X say that they felt Gen X was underrepresented. I think there was only a couple of scenes with Gen X, and they feel that they were misrepresented as well. So, perhaps the stereotypes weren’t holding up or maybe that the humor value was perceived to come from misrepresenting boomers as being old, fugly duddies, luddites, the technology-


Totally. And I think that’s a really good point because again, when we are looking at ageism and stereotypes in media and marketing, it’s often focused on the very young,  the millennials, the Gen Z, and then go straight to the boomers, which are then portrayed as the silent generation. So, that is, again, very much what that ad did.

And I think on a marketing point of view, the ad really missed an opportunity at the biggest spending component of generations, which is essentially 45 to 65 is a huge spend. So, yeah, it kind of missed that. So look, it was a great concept. Just pissed me off that they used such older representations and attitudes and lifestyles which really subliminally reinforce ageism.


But what about the point that a lot of people make, particularly in advertising, that stereotypes are a very fast way to establish characters or people in an ad. Because I think the ad was — was it a 90 second or someone told me it’s three minutes but that they have a limited amount of time.

So, relying on stereotypes is a way that you can quickly say, “Well, here’s the old people. Here’s the very young, here’s the in-between,” by relying on those shared perceptions of those different groups.


And it is lazy, and it demonstrates … that pushback totally demonstrates the inability of people to identify ageism and the impact of it. And ageism as opposed to sexism and racism is absolutely normalized.

It’s okay to be ageist. It’s okay in our society and in our DNA to have ageist stereotypes. If that ad for example, looked at the stereotypes of only women at those ages, there would be an uproar, an absolute uproar.

I mean, the World Health Organization talks very much that it is the most pernicious issue of our times and ageism and the way people perceive themselves, internalize ageism and ageism in marketing and media has an incredible impact financially, economically, and on health,wellbeing and mortality.

So, it’s really time to stop this bullshit of ageism because it actually has a long-lasting impact and it’s lazy and it’s not accurate. That’s the other thing, lumping everybody together.  They don’t lump all Gen Z or millennials into one bag visually and in lifestyles, but they certainly do for anyone over 50.

Yep, you are out. All the studies show that over 55 are all lumped in the one bucket. And there’s been so much research Darren, there’s been so much academic research in Australia one by SBS, RMIT, Queensland University and over in a Frankfurt Universityy on, older people in advertising, it all comes up with the same thing.


So, it almost sounds like as we age, it doesn’t matter what our gender, our sexual orientation, or our race, it sounds like we all seem to become the same person. We get gray hair, we put on weight, and we become somehow grumpy Luddites that sit there complaining about the world. Is that the stereotype for you?


Absolutely. And I’m going to take to task this thing about gray. I mean, I’m 64 nearly in April now, and I am really tired of the labeling of anyone over 55 as the gray army, the Silver Express, all this bull dust nonsense. Not everyone over 55 and 60 is gray haired. Some do, some don’t.

I mean, there are studies that show that as we age, a lot of generations do become a little bit more amenable. I mean, then again, that’s debatable. That’s again, a debatable academic fact. But yeah, that stereotype that if you’re over 55, you’re gray-haired, you’re a luddite, and I mean, I see this day in, day out in the work I do in the media and from my own 20 years in media recruitment, the same issue.

Yeah, it is. And the labeling we use and the imagery that is used constantly reinforces it. And so, the internalization of ageism has become normalized. And so, no one gives a shit about calling it out. And it’s interesting, Darren, because I’ve not actually had backlash at all about the Mumbrella article I wrote, no one has actually taken me to task on it.

There’s been conversations, obviously, it was great to have people like Cindy Gallop and Dr. Ginnivan in it. But no one’s taken me to task, and I’m going to propose the reason for that is because they know it’s true.


Do you think part of the problem is that the advertising industry, and I know it also can apply to media and journalism, but the advertising industry particularly has got a real problem with ageism in that the profile is largely people under 40 working in the industry.

And even from a creative perspective that a lot of those people are also under 40, or even sometimes under 30. The baby boomers would either be their parents or even perhaps their grandparents for the early boomers. And so, their representation is of that sort of two generations ago.


Absolutely. I mean, in Australia there’s less than 10% of staff. Well, in Australia, U.S. and UK, less than 10% of agency and advertising staff are under 45. And when we look in, as in media in Australia, 18% of the workforce in media is over 40, compared to 62% in the rest of other professions. So, you’re looking at 18.5% over 40 in media, 62% in other sectors. So, it’s a real disparity.

Again, there’s been so much research done globally, and I mean, we’ve got so many advocates and there’s so much legislation of the discrimination of stereotypes and ageism. It had not moved the reality of how it’s perceived.

And it was an interesting piece of research done by Queensland University on journalism and identifying ageism and how journalists represent stories in different age categories very, very poorly. And that then filters into the advertising and marketing sector.

But yeah, you’re absolutely right. I mean, I was a recruiter in the agency world for over 11 years and in publishing, and I can’t tell you how often, despite it being illegal, I got the, “I don’t want anyone over 40.”

And then you had the gender, and of course, typical me being me, I always took umbrage at it, and said, “Let’s identify the skills, not the age.” So, yeah, it hasn’t changed since, despite all the rhetoric.


And I know there’s discussions. You said there’s research about this, but the thing that amazes me is often the discussions are around, that it’s a young person’s business, that people are more creative when they’re younger.

There’s all these issues that seem to tarnish the older advertising worker as far as their capabilities. And yet it doesn’t stand up to any of the examples of creativity. There’s a lot of examples of creativity in other fields where people are really hitting their straps in their 50s and 60s and 70s. I’m thinking of novelists, painters, designers are often the experience combined with the talent means that the older they get, the better they get.


That’s a really good point. And I think that comes back to the mental makeup and predilections of individuals. A lot of individuals are hardwired to have the old saying of lifelong learning and adaptability.

And I mean, I said I’m 64 nearly, and as you know, anyone who is over 55, has gone through so much change at more rapid pace than any other generation. And so, the truth is that not everyone over 55 is X, Y, Z, excuse the pun. Not everyone under is X, Y, Z.

Creatively, some people have hit their straps. I mean, I really did start really hitting my creative straps at around 58 admittedly. But then that’s because of other situations. And I think it’s problematic to assume that all people over 55 and all boomers are X, Y, Z. And this is where internalized ageism can be what I call boomeranged back within agencies.

What I’ve observed constantly and as what that ad did attempt to do was the initial friction between generations. “Oh, you are a dickhead, and you are a dickhead, and you’re a dickhead and you’re a dickhead.” And that’s continually reinforced in the assumptions.

And I challenge this always Darren, with older people who are finding it difficult to land new roles, whether it be in agency land or any other profession. How do you view, what’s your perception of, say, millennials and Gen X, Gen Z? “Oh, they’re all lazy and they’re da, da, da, da.” And so, this continues to fuel internalized stereotypes on both sides.

And I really believe one of the big issues why ageism has not moved is because both ends of  the spectrum are pouring crap on each other. And that was what the ad attempted to do well, I agree, that was a great concept, and that continues to fuel it.

Boomers hate Gen Z and Z don’t get it. So, how do we break this down? Because not all younger people are lazy. They’re not, and I’m tired of this trope. Old people can be are lazy, so its rubbish, absolute rubbish.  And not all  boomers are wise, that’s not true either.

And that’s one of the things I think with stereotypes, and I’ve been banging on this for a very long time in media and in my work, judge individuals versus the generation on all sides, really — and that’s comes back to why I really thought the ad missed a really major opportunity.


It does reinforce one thing I hear a lot in the industry, and that is people talking about digital natives. That if you’ve been born before, let’s say 1995 where the internet started to make an appearance in the day-to-day world, I know it was around before that. But in the day-to-day world and impacting on marketing, if you were born before that or working before that, there’s no way you’re a digital native.

And that somehow you can never catch up because if you weren’t born into it … if you weren’t born literally with an iPhone in one hand and all of the social media apps loaded onto it, there’s no way you can actually understand digital marketing.


Isn’t that the laziest, most heinous perception in the world? I recall, and you might, Malcolm Turnbull was one of the forefathers of the internet and digital in Australia wasn’t he? He was very much involved in that.


Well, he was a big investor in the early days. Yeah, absolutely. And invested in a lot of the startups at the time that drove internet adoption across Australia.


Absolutely. And if I go back to the archives, I mean, there are so many people that I used to place in agencies and research in media that were at the beginning of that digital time. And again, when you’re looking at anyone over 50, we’ve had to make so many changes.

And my goodness gracious, I first started working when there was telex machines. Hello, hello, adaptability and the change has been extraordinary. And not everyone, as I said, is hardwired to roll with change. Not everyone is hardwired to adapt. And I think that adaption piece should be front and center.


I think there’s a really good definition of aging or getting old, and that is that you stop being interested in new things. That when you get to the point where you think you know it all or you think I know enough to get by, so I don’t want to learn anything else, that’s when you get old.

And I’ve seen that happen in 20-year-olds. I’ve seen that happen in 30-year-olds. It’s got nothing to do with the number of years you’ve been alive. It is a psychological approach that you have to life where you just go, “I’m very comfortable. I don’t need to know anything else.”

It’s like, when did you stop listening to new music? When did you stop going to see new art, when was it? Or trying different types of food or whatever it is, at what point? And this occurs in mammals, that all mammals show the same behavior, even rats.

There’s a point where they go from exploring the world and pushing boundaries to then becoming scared and safe. And we’ve seen that played out in particularly Pixar, I love this trope, which is the rat in Ratatouille, there’s one that just constantly wants to try new flavors and food and becomes a chef.

Or Finding Nemo, where the child wants to go and explore the world, but the parent is full of fear and wants to reject anything that’s new. We’re seeing that happen over and over again, as reinforcing that that’s what age is, is fear.

Whereas youth is exploring, and I think that’s part of what supports, to your point, this ageism is someone that’s old, fearful, shut down, that’s what old is. And not everyone’s old based on the number of years they’ve been alive.


That is such a great point. And I’ve just had a visualization Darren, of a great big out of home media campaign all over the highways, freeways, roads to the airports with “Curiosity is key to age and wisdom’.  And I think that is something that is so true.


I bet it was an old person that said curiosity killed the cat.


And you know what I was just thinking when we talk internalized ages, and you know the old trope and my mum used to always say, “You’re never too old to teach dogs new tricks.” Now, is that a terrible thing to say to ourselves?

I often say it, and because the word old is an interesting one, in the research I’ve done on what is considered old when you look at in the health sectors, I think I recall you came from a scientific-


Medical background, yeah.


Medical background, yeah. So, when you’re looking at, in the surgical world, elderly or old is actually considered 85, I’ve had some discussions over the years in that capacity. And there was research done in The Older People in Advertising Report in the University of European in Frankfurt that identified that most people define old is over 55, that’s the definition.

Yet when we look at, in the medical health sense, that’s not considered that. But in the marketing and advertising sector, that is considered old. So, this word ‘old’ I find is problematic because everyone is older than everyone else in some way.   The language of old is problematic.


The only word worse than old is geriatric. When you’re called geriatric, I remember being in my mid-thirties and a young doctor, younger than I at the time, said, “Oh, Mr. Woolley, you realize you’re middle-aged now.” And I’m sitting there going, “Hang on, average age for a man is about 82. So, 35 seemed way too young to be middle aged.”

But anyway, and I know you are aware of my interest and TrinityP3 looking at the financials and the business models of agencies. But yeah, I’ve gone on the record a number of times saying that one of the things driving ageism in agencies is the financial model, particularly for holding companies that are looking at reducing cost to maximize the margins and stay competitive.

And that is that older workers are perceived as being more expensive and not necessarily as productive as younger workers. Better to keep two juniors or three juniors than one senior person, because you’ll get a lot more work done by them. Is that, do you believe also one of the things that’s sustaining this trend towards younger workers inside agencies?


I think they use that as — look, and I read your terrific article on that a few years ago. Having been a recruiter, I think it’s a smoke screen. I mean, I think often people will use that as a smoke screen to hide their ageist attitudes.

And I think it’s like anything … when someone says they can’t afford it, the real reason isn’t that, it’s just that they’ve chosen not to allocate those funds to X, Y, Z. So, I think it mostly can be an excuse.

I’ve actually written about the issue of salaries generally, and the bullshit that hiring companies, whether that be in the media sector or any other sector use.  If there is a role to fill with X, Y, Z needs and X, Y, Z KPIs, that’s the role, that is the role.

If you are a creative director or you are a copywriter or an art director, whatever that role is, its based on solving a problem and based on solving a need within the agency and for those clients. So, if that is the role, then you start looking at, “Well, what is that role require to do  successfully?” And there should therefore on that role have a salary band, which is appropriate and fair.

And this often plays out. You will see also in ‘salary based on experience’, which again, is an excuse and a get out of jail card for hiring younger people. I’ve seen it time and time again when I recruited, I’d find outstanding talent for clients  and then they’d pick something about them that, “Oh, they don’t have that, so I’m going to offer them X, Y a lower salary.”

And I think this whole salary issue is an excuse to get things cheaper. And again, I know very well that people who I’ve worked with who are over 55 who want to get back into media, and they’re actually willing to take a hit because they just love the sector, and they can’t get in. So, I think it’s bullshit.

But your article did speak very, very well to the profit margins. And I mean, as you work very much in raising that bar of agencies to be less fiscally orientated. But I think one of the other things too is that there is a deeper level that’s needed.

And the impact, again, coming on society, the impact on community, the impact on advertisers is that they’re shooting themselves in the foot by doing it. So, I guess that’s a bit of a roundabout thing, but the salary issue I find is quite duplicitous.


Someone once pointed out to me that if it was true, then agencies would be employing more women because they still continue generally to pay them 15 to 20% less than men in the same role. So, if they were actually looking to save money that way, they’d do it by employing more women.


Do you think that’s the case still in your observation?


The real issue is — and as you are explaining your experience as a recruiter, the real issue is that baby boomers traditionally have a belief that you climb the ladder through experience, that you have to do your time to actually get those promotions.

Whereas certainly millennials and Gen Z are inclined to think it’s talent based, and that if you can do the job, then you should get the promotion. The industry is switched and I’ll give you an example here.

A very talented woman, young woman was employed by an agency, and they were terrific working on this account, but they got a title increase from an account manager up to a senior account director over three-year period.

That’s a long climb with three years’ experience. I’m not saying that they didn’t deserve the promotion, except that they were being paid a lot less than a senior account director because the agency was paying them as if they were an account manager with three years’ experience.

But they were telling the client that they were a senior account director and charging them out at what was considered the senior account director’s rate. That’s where the games come in with getting young people and promoting them quickly, because it often means that you can bill them out at a lot more than you’re actually paying them.


Look, it’s certainly a game of cat and mouse and there’s a lot of agendas and there’s so much duplicity. I mean, I’ve written about this whole salary dance, and I was actually interviewed on Nova  radio station last year about the salary issues and how people over 50, are not able to get salary increases within organizations and have very much lower training and development opportunities and how that can be navigated.

It  just befuddles me Darren, why? Considering when you look at the breakdown of consumers in Australia, Gen X and boomers represent over 42% of the population. So, we’re looking from 43 to 78. So, when we are looking at — and that, I mean, 43-year-olds are also, as you know, are getting discriminated in agencies.

So, when you are looking at that age group, which is 42% of the Australian population,  I’m talking about, the general spending potential, which is very, very high.  It befuddles me why agencies do not make a stronger case to hire staff in whose age  demographics represent that market more.

It befuddles me, absolutely befuddles me and any marketing to anyone over 45, 50 as we’ve discussed, is ignored or represented as old and fuddy-duddy and gray. So, it seems to me they’re shooting themselves as Jane Caro says –   ‘ageism is shooting your future self in the foot’.

Don’t you think agencies in the whole marketing industry are shooting their own potential in the foot because that demographic of Gen X and boomers and  their purchase power is so wide, not just for themselves, but for their other families around them. And so, it just is bizarre that they are being so ignored by the age groups in agencies that don’t understand them.


And it is interesting your point around other areas such as gender, there’s a high focus on overcoming stereotypes. And shEqual in Victoria have got research that shows stereotype representation of women actually increases the incidence of domestic violence because it dehumanizes women in those situations by turning them into the stereotype rather than a person.

Race is certainly something that everyone is aware of and sensitive to and avoids misrepresenting race. In fact, and there’s a positive swing to representation, to now create content that has representation for a multitude of different races. To your point that it’s interesting that ageism is this sticking point, and I’m just wondering, what is it going to take to actually move this forward?


Look, and it’s interesting, I mean, there’s an organization in the UK called the Unstereotype Advertising Alliance, and great concept … but it’s all gender focused. In Australia, I mean, I followed a lot of what the human rights and Australian HR Institute are doing. They’ve done a lot of research and papers on employing and retaining older workers.

In the whole DEI conversation and this is ubiquitous across all sectors , not just in the top end of agency and  their clients. And this is the other thing, agency clients are part of this problem as well. Very few organizations in their DEI policies factor ageism.  Gender  is absolutely  and we’ve got in Australia, some terrific organizations.

The Champions of Changeorganization of CEOs that promote women into business is strong. But ageism is off the rank. And last year, the Human Rights and Australian Institute did a survey. This is really scary stuff.

Only 50% of companies are open to hiring staff over 50.  And 18% of companies have basically said they would rarely or never hire anyone over 50. That’s terrifying. Now, these are not just our media, these are media’s clients, that’s the top end of town.

So, it’s embedded in, in every part, isn’t it? It’s the cultural schema, if you will, of the perniciousness of ageism and how people are  hired. And it very clear. I mean, and this is whats worries me to your point about change.

We’ve got so many associations, there’s so much legislation, nothing has really changed. And I really believe in coming back to the ad, this was an opportunity missed because people believe what they see and internalize what they see.

So, because the internalization belief is anyone over 50 is old, , gray hair, dickheads, technophobes who can’t keep up with changes, haven’t adapted, are going to be hard to manage. All the myriad of stereotype excuses embedded onto anyone over 50 keeps it alive.

And then whenever anyone over 50 is talked about, I’ve seen this myself Darren, I’ve had a lot of media over the years in TV and in press and talking about career, bias of ageism. And I cannot tell you how often the images used other than my photo are of a photo of a hand, that’s of someone 85 to 95 or a representation.

I was on Sunrise several years ago, and it was a great interview, absolutely terrific. But the background images, talking about ageism and the change in the market through government initiatives were of blokes closer to 75 and 80, working on the bloody tools. So, this continues.

I was on Sky News  a terrific interview with Jaynie Seal, absolutely terrific unpacking ageism. And I’m still snarky about this as  there was an image with some of the tips that had provided of a  hand representing a person  their 80s … I was talking about people in their 50s & 60’s.

And this is again the problem. So, nothing has changed despite Every Age Counts activism in Australia and  the Human Rights. But yeah, the attitude is that they’re hiring and certainly worse in agency and media.


So, going back to the ad, the underlying strategy is that lamb is the thing that brings Australians together-


Unless they’re vegetarian.


Yeah, unless they’re vegans or vegetarian. But yeah, that’s the underlying premise, it’s the campaign’s been on going two decades and it’s interesting this year because in many ways Australian society is becoming divided like the U.S. on a whole lot of issues.

We had the referendum, the voice referendum, which has divided the country. There’s political division about a whole lot of issues going on. There’s environmental division, there’s still people out there that are climate deniers and so on and so forth.

So, there was any number of things. I’m just wondering if the decision had been made from the MLA’s perspective to avoid the divisions that were particularly political, and this is why they landed on the generation gap. Because in some ways it’s not a political issue, it’s a social issue. I don’t see a lot of policies apart from the old age pension as the political issue that deals with ageism.


And I think that talks to again, that is the ageism and age stereotypes, especially of the over 50 cohort  totally ignored and not understood, and no one wants to look at it. And I think that it’s interesting you talk about the divisions, and it was quite clear and disturbing also that there didn’t appear to be a First Nation representation of any age, of any generation in that ad, which I said was a bit disturbing .

And as I wrote in my Mumbrella article, “Any humor in these times is welcome.” I won’t make any bones about that. We need some relief because life is bloody horrible and it’s a democracy. And also the issues that you’ve just raised are pertinent. And it’s interesting that all generations have equal concern about those.

The political versus does lamb bring them together, look it’s been interesting. There’s also been conversations about is lamb really the tool that brings people together?

Look, yeah, I think I still come back to that it was such a disappointing opportunity because it just, once again, I see this … Darren, I get tired of having to pick up the pieces of broken people. And I mean that sincerely. I’ve had broken people with decades of experience under their belt, not being able to get another crack in the career market. And I’m sick of the brokenness.

And it comes back to this stereotype. I look at them, I love the advertising industry, and then in the journalism industry, I love it. But with power comes responsibility. And that responsibility is to do no harm. A little bit like the Hippocratic Oath in medicine?


Hippocratic Oath, yep.


Hippocratic Oath, you remember that, do no harm. This representation of older people continues the harm? I think the ad did harm, even though it was bloody funny.


Sue Parker, I’m really impressed that you’ve evoked the Peter Parker Principle of, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Is that sort of some relative you are related to Spider-Man, because that’s where that reference comes from.


I didn’t know. Look, I plead ignorance, your honor on that. I take myself off the bench, your honor on that. I actually didn’t not know who the originator of that was


It’s a Spiderman quote, Peter Parker.


Right. No, no but it does, it does. I mean, there is a responsibility and the media and advertising industry has such power to change the fabric of our worlds and humor is a great way to kick ass, there’s no doubt about it.


But not with cheap shots.


And yeah, but I think it’s interesting, I’ve read somewhere that some of the people working on the campaign were from different generations as well, and there was a point made that some of them were Gen X, no one was a baby boomer, but there were Gen X. But Gen X goes from 43 to 58.

But this is where internalized ageism comes in as well. One of the greatest dangers and there’s a lot of research on that too, is that older people turn on themselves just a bit like internalized misogyny. Not all women like other women, and not all older people like older people. And I’ve seen that too.

It’s actually been quite fascinating that when I’ve had clients in the past in recruitment who were themselves in their 50s actually discriminated themselves.  It was  almost like I’ve been badly treated, I’m going to do it again. So, there’s a real psychological discussion to have, I think, on this as well.


Look, Sue time’s absolutely got away from us because this has been such a great conversation, thank you for taking the time to sit down and have a chat on Managing Marketing.


Thank you, Darren. This has been terrific. We should do a TV show on it.


Now I’m going to put the link to the YouTube page for anyone that hasn’t seen the lamb ad. But otherwise, Sue, before you go, I do have a question for you. In say 15, 20 years’ time, what do you think you’ll be doing?