Between the Lines: Is ad industry out of touch?

If adland is not to become out of touch with society, it must remain reflective of it. The latest IPA census figures provide an interesting snapshot of how well it is doing in that regard (page 4).

The results are rather mixed. The workforce is split almost equally between male and female. Yet Cilla Snowball (Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO), Amanda Walsh (Lowe London) and Alison Burns (JWT) are among only a handful of women holding top jobs. And while the 7.3 per cent of agency staffers from ethnic minorities is broadly in line with the national average, it is rare to find them in front-of-house roles, let alone in the boardroom.

Most worrying though is the industry's youth. Staff are getting younger while the population's average age moves the other way. The business may yet rue its failure to match this demographic shift.