The Government has just announced a new deal for jobless over-50s.

The Government has just announced a new deal for jobless


So can oldies still get a job in advertising? Are there any jobs going

at Leagas Delaney at the local Job Centre?

You might have read in the Campaign Diary about George Stratford, 55,

who is working at Saatchi & Saatchi as a copywriter. Stratford got the

full-time job after working as a placement. He transformed himself from

an out-of-work French polisher to an award-winning creative wizard.

But the tragic side of this story is that it seems George has wasted the

best years of his writing talent. Who knows, if he had started in

advertising in his twenties, he could have been another Abbott, Parker

or Brignull.

Advertising could have been the springboard for his personal


By now there could have been five novels on the shelf. Perhaps, even a

Hollywood film in the can.

So why the late start?

Only George can tell us. But I suspect the real problem was a dodgy

English teacher. Here was a kid with a talent for words. Where was the

talent spotter? Who wrote him off? If George could get an English

A-level in his late forties, he could have got one in his teens.

Years ago, I met a teacher while I was on holiday in the Greek islands.

As we chatted, I mentioned that I worked in advertising. Stepping back,

he sneered: ’You know, I despise people like you.’ Many suburban

intellectuals have a jaundiced view of the ad world.

Call me a reactionary but now I despise rotten teachers. Bad teachers

let talented children down. In fact, they can ruin lives. Hopefully,

George still has time to make enough from his writing talent to retire

to the south of France. Where better could an ex-French polisher go to

polish his French?