Is this the most Ageist Ad of all time?

Adweek called this a “Comically Savage” election PSA series; but there’s nothing comic about it.  This ad series tries to scare Millennials into voting by portraying older people, who vote in much higher numbers, as greedy, selfish monsters.  Read about the series and watch the ads here.

At a time when our society is more divided than ever, this series is despicable on so many levels we’ve lost count. Every tired cliche about older people…and some new ones…are on display. All this feeds into a very real and very unhealthy generational dynamic, as this article suggests.

The fact that a group of professionals decided this, of all approaches, was the best way to encourage younger people to vote is appalling…as if older people don’t have children and grandchildren they love and have no stake in the future. This divisive ad series for Hulu, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat feeds into a disturbing narrative to, unbelieveably, disenfranchise older people by removing their right to vote at say, 70. We are not making this up.

This sort of campaign is, sadly, just the most recent example of ageism creeping into every aspect of modern life.  Luckily, there’s some help online to combat it.

Oldschool.info, the brainchild of anti-agism activist and author Ashton Applewhite, is a new online clearinghouse of free and carefully vetted resources (like Senior Planet) to educate people about ageism and help dismantle it.

The goal, the Oldschool.info website says, is to help catalyze a movement to make ageism (discrimination on the basis of age) as unacceptable as any other kind of prejudice.

If you have an ageism-related resource (an organization, a website, a blog, etc.)  to contribute to Old School – not about positive aging or  productive aging or healthy aging or conscious aging or creative aging, but explicitly focused on ageism – please visit  the webpage and scroll down to Messages to share it.

7 comments
  • Stuart Dunn
    REPLY

    I’d appreciate it if someone could explain the “beauty” of growing old. The only thing I can offer (and I am 89 years old) is that we see our children and grandchildren grow into adults, and that (hopefully) we retain reasonable health and mental faculties so as to be able to enjoy our relationships. I chose: youth, energy, health, romantic love and relevance. If this is ageism, so be it; I call it honesty.

  • alston green
    REPLY

    Of course, this ad was not produced by Senior Planet. This ad is offensive Ad is a huge lie. I worked the polls 11/6 here in NYC and it was a wonderful turnout. I was thrilled to see so many young people (many millennials) voting for the first time. at my polling site, we saw more people than in any other election I’ve worked there. I encourage all young people to get involved in the political process as their future is at stake!! I applaud all the young folks I encountered and hope they continue to make a difference to our political process.

  • Brian Long
    REPLY

    As a mid-70 something person, I do not find this message divisive or disturbing. Truth can be hurtful; yet it’s truth.

    Has anyone had their feathers in a tailspin about the plot in the 2011 novel, 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America? Same context. And kind of true to life.

  • Emily Lees
    REPLY

    I have seen this ad and reacted against it on facebook. One thing I would like to see when you alert readers to ageist practices is a link to the guilty party, so that droves of us can write in protest. Otherwise, sharing them on sites devoted to “outing” ageism risks preaching to the choir, and sharing shameful examples on social media (as I have done, lack of a better resource) risks perpetuating the very attitude I am protesting.

    Thanks!

  • Mary Ward Caplan
    REPLY

    Mary Ward Caplan- Pitting one group against “the other” whomever THE OTHER may mean deeper divisions. What if we said vote because all these women are voting and they are balmy. Or say, black and brown people are voting and they are scary so you better get out there and vote. This is not handing over the reins but fostering isms and divisions. Dear God, tonight of all night we are trying to get out the message that ALL votes count.

    Is Senior Planet responsible for this ad? If so, you owe all voters a big apology and we need to reconsider your advice

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