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This Ageist Ad Got the Longevity Market Angry

Stria Staff October 5, 2018

Aging and longevity professionals were up-in-arms this week against an unlikely cause: an advertisement targeting youth.

A series of ageist ads called “Don’t Vote” got some attention this week. The videos feature caricatures of angry older people telling young voters to keep away from the polls. The purpose is to scare young people into voting by pitting them against older voters on a number of key political issues. The campaign was produced by Nail Communications for Acronym, a group created in 2017 to support progressive causes and candidates. Acronym describes itself as a “no-BS digital organization” and is part of a multi-million dollar effort to elect Democrats.

AdWeek called the ads “comically savage” in a profile that ran on its website late in September. The series of spots seemingly have been well-received in the media community, with social media influencers calling “a great political ad” and Source Creative naming it their “Select of the Day.”

But our colleagues had some different descriptors for the spot, which they shared in social media posts this week. The consensus says this ad is ageism at its worse. (And in the midst of all this, AARP launched an effort to tackle ageism in advertising.)

Update: In response to outrage in the field, The American Society on Aging issued a formal response. Current ASA Board of Directors Chair Karyne Jones wrote in a letter to the ads’ creators “This kind of conspiracy‐mongering recalls some of the most unpleasant episodes in history with its elements of scapegoating and straw‐person posturing and is not a worthy complement to a progressive agenda.”

Check out the ad and let us know what do you think.

Here were just a few of the reactions from our field on social media:

What do you think? Share this story and add your opinions to the social conversation.

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