In 2017, Trinity Mirror carried out extensive research which revealed that brands and advertising are losing relevance and are increasingly out of touch with most consumers. Andrew Tenzer, Head of Group Insight at Trinity Mirror, and Ian Murray, co-founder & Partner at House51, which carried out the research, explained why at the Media Research Summit (London, June 2018).

Tenzer began by observing that the advertising industry is rather different to the people it tries to reach and target. While 18-40 year olds represent 35% of the UK adult population, they account for a whopping 84% of the advertising industry workforce. There is also a chasm when it comes to education: less than a third of UK adults are educated to degree level, yet for most jobs in advertising a degree is the minimum requirement for entry level roles.

“Obviously there are lots of agencies out there trying to broaden recruitment, but we know [from our own experience] that we find it difficult to break free from our internal biases,” said Tenzer. “We want someone competent to do the role, but actually we look at people who are culturally similar to us and could be friends. We think when we’re hiring, are they going to be a good laugh down the pub when we’re working with them?”