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.
“The men did not care for us women”: How Women Lost Out in the Creative Departments of Advertising Agencies in the 1950s and 1960s
Before commencing her postgraduate research into the impact of commercial television advertising on advertising industries and viewers, Alison Payne was a marketing and communications strategist working in advertising agencies and strategic consultancies across both the private and the public sectors. Since starting her doctoral research at Birkbeck, University of London, she has given papers at a number of conferences, taught students in the master's degree program in Film and Visual Media at Birkbeck, and lectured as part of Syracuse University's Mass Media program. Payne received her PhD in 2016 and continues to work as a freelance consultant and writer.
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Alison Payne; “The men did not care for us women”: How Women Lost Out in the Creative Departments of Advertising Agencies in the 1950s and 1960s. Feminist Media Histories 1 October 2018; 4 (4): 83–108. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2018.4.4.83
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