I have heard a lot of explanations about the institutional 'youthism' of the advertising industry. I have added a few ideas to the list myself, but the comment from Vicki Maguire, joint chief creative officer at Grey London is new to me.
She thinks the problem is institutional. "Advertising as always is behind the curve," she says, and speculates that the tendency to feature young people stems from the industry being "run by a bunch of men in their forties who are scared of getting old".
Whatever the explanation, most advertising does look as if it has emerged from hole in the space time continuum when life was simple - you targeted the young because the old were set in their ways etc etc etc.
It will be interesting to see what campaign Grey come up with for Marks. Certainly the past couple have set the benchmark at a very low level. Miss Maguire could do a lot worse than read of my blog post about the company's advertising from 2006 and look at this ad from 2005. That year it won a whole bucket load of awards. I am not suggesting that Grey bring back that campaign but they should at least ask themselves why it worked - for all ages.
Campaign has an article about oldies and advertising. Kim Walker's blog about the Reebok advertising in China and how it promotes longevity are both worth a read. Dick Stroud