The emergence of commercial television advertising impacted women working as copywriters and artists in the creative departments of London ad agencies. Looking at the period 1955 to 1968, this paper discusses whether the observed fall in the proportion of women in creative departments was on par with a broader national “problem” of fewer and fewer women in professional occupations, or whether women in this sector were particularly hard hit. The research concludes that women copywriters and artists did not benefit from the advent of commercial television advertising. Their careers were limited by disparaging attitudes held by the younger generation, and changes in processes and creative skills required by the new medium. It also illustrates, however, that new opportunities for women did open up in television advertising production, in both advertising agencies and the wider production industry.

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