Advertising’s age problem has been well documented over the years. If you’re over 50, you’ve probably noticed the conspicuous absence of people who look like you in adverts, while marketing campaigns that do target older consumers tend to lump them together as one homogeneous group: the Saga generation, if you will. This is all despite the fact that the over-50s make up a growing portion of the ­global population and in the UK alone have a reported ­spending power of £320 million.
We recommend activating Javascript in your browser.
The ad world’s unrealistic and out-of-touch ­approach to depicting ageing is indicative of a ­wider societal problem, but it is also exacerbated by the ­industry’s insatiable obsession with youth, says ­Havas chief creative officer Vicki Maguire. “Creativity is ageless. It’s only when you get near the commercial arts, and especially advertising, where as an industry we ­always seem to chase the new. What we have traditionally done is attached fresh, vibrant, new and change with youth. Quite frankly, that’s bollocks, but we are a very short-sighted and navel-gazing industry, and that is to our detriment.”

Top: Photo by Willie B Thomas from the American Association of Retired Persons’ ongoing collaboration with Getty Images; Above: Nike’s Unlimited Youth advert, featuring 82-year-old Ironman triathlete, Sister Madonna Buder