The Week: Best of the Blogs - Tips for creative codgers

So, what exactly happens to you when you work (as a creative) in advertising and hit your forties?

1. You could carry on as a non-CD creative. There seem to be a fair number of creatives who - shock horror! - can still drag their Zimmer frames across to an edit suite, or ask a planner to write a brief in 42-point so they can read it without their glasses. Great advertising is about conveying human truths, and, the older you get, the more life you have lived and the greater your ability to find and use these truths. But in this seemingly ageist industry, the temptation is to get three junior teams to provide truthless cannon fodder for the price of one senior team. Good business sense, or false economy?

2. Become a creative director. The job of creative director gets a little easier if you look old enough to do it, because the accoutrements of middle age (grey hair, no hair, the paunch, the wrinkle) can provide the reassurance a jittery client needs.

3. Become a director. A well-trodden alternative career path that has seen Frank Budgen, Tom Carty, Chris Palmer, Vince Squibb, Dougal Wilson, Paul Weiland, Alan Parker etc achieve riches beyond the dreams of avarice.

4. Leave and do something else. Authors (Salman Rushdie), actors (Alec Guinness) and ... er ... others have started off in creative departments. The world is your lobster.


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