Document Type




Format of Original

3 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Journal of Consumer Marketing

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1108/07363760810845354


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore reasons why there are so few women in creative departments of advertising agencies and to discuss what impact that might have on the work environment of those creative departments and advertising messages they create.

Design/methodology/approach – Provides a review of published research and plus opinions of professionals who cover the advertising industry or work in agency creative departments. Personal observations from the authors’ time working in the advertising industry are also included.

Findings – Themes gleaned from the literature look at the gender gap, the creative department of advertising agencies as an “old-boys network,” reasons why women leave creative jobs, and why advertising targeting women as consumers is so bad.

Practical implications – Women opt out of advertising agencies for any number of reasons – more than just having babies. Keeping women’s voices in creative departments would give a better balance to the messages agencies create.

Originality/value – Changing creative departments to be more accommodating and flexible to women’s needs might not only make them better for women, but also better for men and for families. In addition, the messages from those creative departments may be more compelling to consumers.


Accepted version. Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 25, No. 1 (2008): 4-6. DOI. © 2008 Emerald. Used with permission.

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