Out-of-work ad man makes breakfast news with ageism claims
With a sandwich board over his shoulders advertising his experience and contact details, Simms arrived at Martin Place at 6am and was interviewed by Sunrise journalist Natalie Barr.
Simms spoke out on ageism in advertising as part of the “Are you still relevant over 40” session at Mumbrella360.
Simms, formerly chief director at Cheil, Samsung’s inhouse ad agency, told Mumbrella: “I’ve been asked to go to a major bank and a major agency group this afternoon and I’m open to further enquiries,” he said. “One woman was called by her boss, who knew she got off the bus at Martin Place, to collect my card.”
“I wasn’t subtle. I also had a number of people take my picture to upload to Twitter and include my LinkedIn page details. The aim has been to get social media working for me – light the fire and it doesn’t take much to fan the flames,” he added.
Sims told Mumbrella that too many agencies are looking for staff who are “young and funky” and he’s been told he’s not ‘the right cultural fit’. Of late, he has been working as a consultant for a number of Photon agencies, as well as the start-up Wise, an agency that specialises in targeting seniors.
He said: “A client wants someone who has been around the block with solid business experience. If you’ve been a project manager in an agency for four or five years you haven’t got that yet.”
“Agencies believe that staff who are young and funky will offer the cutting edge in latest ideas and approaches – but consumers come in all ages. Just as there’s diversity in consumers, agencies should be offering diversity to their clients.”
Simms and his sandwich board will today be in Ultimo, The Rocks and other areas around the city where agencies are prevalent.