Poisoned partnerships, being the wrong age, and how you can have it all

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Jane Evans has always been radical. She created the first ad to ever show a divorced couple. The first to show a couple living together. And men doing housework effectively. When she became invisible to the advertising industry, she realised that the first women in the workplace en masse were falling off a career cliff in all industries.

She set up the UnInvisibility movement to promote the brilliance of midlife women. Within a year, it has built a reach of almost half a billion people. But nothing has changed. So mid-COVID, the movement has brought together the greatest creative women of our generation to help brands, agencies, and media companies who are serious about rebuilding the economy to talk to the most powerful consumer group on the planet - us!

Biggest fuck up?

My agency created Australia’s first craft beer, James Squire. After seven years of exponential growth, the account was getting a little too big for us to manage, so I met with an agency that just hosted planning and account services to explore a partnership.

Three months later, my agency was fired because the other company went to the client and said that the James Squire story (which we had built the whole brand around) was irrelevant and that their hastily assembled creative department would completely rebrand and relaunch.

The brand went from “Australia’s first name in beer’ to ‘Never forsake flavour’.

I was heartbroken. The original team (who were also fired) knew how much I had invested in the brand and that we had built a 25-year strategy – we had only just started to tell the James Squire story.

I didn’t fight. I broke.

Two years later, the dodgy shop lost the account, and the new agency immediately went back to the original strategy.

I’ve never approached another agency with an opportunity ever again.

Rant

That I have NEVER been the right age.

I got my first job at 20, but at 30, I was too young to be a creative director.

At 35, I was too old because I was likely to breed, so I became creative director of my own shop.

At 40, I was a single mum to two girls and the owner of a much smaller agency.

At 50, I was too old to even be considered for a copywriting job.

At 58, I’m fighting for all of the women who are finally at the perfect age to succeed in their careers – if only the world would see us.

Useful advice 

You can have it all, just not all at once.

Slow down, you’re going to have a very long life, and you will work till you are at least 70. You don’t have to work full pelt for nearly fifty years. Allow yourself peaks and plateaus it’s the only way to enjoy a balanced and satisfying life.

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