Thursday, February 7, 2008

how to boss ad broads

If you're reading this blog, there's a 72% chance that you're under forty. There's also a 92% chance that you are in advertising. Which means there's a 32%* chance I'll be working for you someday, so here's a bit of self-interested advice about managing ad broads so they don't go home feeling like pieces of bacon:

1. Make eye contact with her. When you're speaking, don't focus only on her (younger) partners, or your Blackberry, or the wall behind her, no matter how uncomfortable being half her age makes you.

2. Don't change her headlines while she is not in the room. This advice is applicable to writers of all ages, but is particularly key to remember when working with a writer who was coming up with headlines while you were singing the Sesame Street song.

3. Don't assume that because a writer is old she wouldn't want to hang with you after hours. Yes, it is rude to ask everyone in the hallway to join you for a drink across the street, except her.

4. Don't constantly spout obscenities when other adjectives will do.

5. When she takes the time to introduce you to one of her kids, politely acknowledge this introduction later.

6. Don't compliment her jewelry by observing it's just like something your mother would wear--she doesn't care that your mom has good taste.

7. Don't ever, ever read her copy submitted to you for approval, then hand it back to her and ask her to read it out loud.

8. Don't call her the name of the only woman in the office who is older than her.

9. When she asks you a polite question about your personal life, making small talk, ask her a polite question about her personal life, too. Don't just stop talking after you've answered her question. She is making an effort. Now it's your turn.

10. When you call her into your office for a meeting, don't make her remove your hipster man-purse from the only available chair in the room before she can sit.

11. Don't call her into the office for the meeting by yelling from your desk, as if she's a dog.

If these simple rules are too hard to follow, as they seem to be for the guy I am working for, I wish you a boss exactly like yourself when you are my age--which, no matter how much you work out, will happen tomorrow.

*all statistics pulled from thin air

1 comment:

Craig McNamara said...

I've been in the ad biz about 5 years less than you (freelance writing for over 10 years now) and for all my worries about advertising's obvious (if unspoken) ageism, I haven't really encountered it yet. On the other hand, it's probably why my account list has shifted over the years from working for agencies to working directly for clients. They tend to be older and value experience and skill more than youth. Frankly, it's a good tradeoff, for clients and me. I have a advertising-related blog too, by the way, at