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Problem Solved #6: Thinkerbell’s over-55s internship to overcome industry ageism

‘Of course the industry is ageist’: Behind Thinkerbell’s over-55s internship

To mark the launch of our new manifesto – setting out The Drum’s editorial mission to help readers solve their problems – we’re christening today Solutions Day on And to set the tone, over the course of 24 hours our team of worldwide journalists will be spotlighting 24 recent examples of times when our industry demonstrated its remarkable talent for solving problems.

Problem: The advertising industry is perceived as being ageist, preferring to have younger and cheaper staff in place of age and experience.

Solution: Australian agency Thinkerbell has launched an internship aimed at over-55s only.

Read the original article here.

  • Only 5% of the advertising industry is over 50.

  • The ad industry favours younger staff, which Thinkerbell founder Adam Ferrier believes is partly to do with driving costs down with cheaper labour.

  • Other industry commentators, such as Cindy Gallop, have argued that the ad industry fetishises youth, attributing creative talent to younger workforces.

  • Rather than bring people into the agency at a younger age, which is a traditional model for an internship, Thinkerbell is only taking over-55s. It is a paid internship.

Adam Ferrier, founder of Thinkerbell, said: “Creativity is wonderful but it needs to be married with other skills to be effective. Wisdom, judgement, strategy, experience are all wonderful bedpartners if you want to create creative solutions that work in a branded, commercial sense. All of these are skills, they are learned, and improve over time, and with experience.”

Read more Problem Solved articles in our Solutions Day hub.

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