Categorized | Nation

Guess What? Youth is Not Worth “Their” Investment

Posted on 04 March 2010 by .

The 32 year old baby-faced Toronto City Councilor Adam Giambrone is back in his office, still retaining his position as a Chair of Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). He broke down in a press conference after a sex scandal broke out. He was also a Toronto mayoral candidate. His campaign evoked images of Mr. Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign of “yes we can.” His campaign spoke to youth in an environment where people especially youth are apathetic to political process. Youth was hoping to follow him on Twitter and to grow farms at Farmville and to watch him on youtube. All these hopes shattered when his campaign wrapped up without completing ten days. Ambitions of youth fell apart. He could have been an inspirational and motivational politician for next generation to look up to.

But that did not happen. In fact in a few seconds politicians made statements discrediting his services, pointing fingers at his incompetence and so on. Wasn’t there a time not too long ago whereby seniors and adults were there to advise and to teach their juniors.

Adam Giambrone’s fall is not his alone. It is of next generation of aspiring politicians’ also. His demise has a greater impact for youth who are struggling – extremely hard – to make mark in their communities. And I wonder if I am even right in considering Giambrone a member of Generation Next. Because when we tell advertising agencies and corporate clients and the members of community that we represent young adults and young professionals in their twenties and thirties, Generation Next – the only South Asian magazine targeting and reaching out to these young professionals – is disregarded as a “kids’ magazine.”

Of course some of it is a ploy used by competitors who would use any dirty tricks to degrade Generation Next and thus the next generation. Some of it is ignorance of how big a consumer market young adults make and how the future of our community, our nation and our country rests on South Asian young adults. These young adults are the builders of the nation as we have a greater number of people retiring. These young professionals would be building a stronger Canada by working in telecom industry, in cable companies, in banks, in hospitals, in schools, in sports, in fashion, in arts, music and theatre. Yet, Generation Next is told – especially by the advertising agencies handling corporate clients like banks and telephone companies – that their client is not interested in targeting youth. Isn’t this unbelievable? Shouldn’t this outrage all of us? Shouldn’t this infuriate our parents who work so hard so that their kids can be educated and get jobs, however the government and the corporate Canada that deals through advertising agencies – which do not, by the way, do their homework – thinks that youth is not work investing.

I am curious to know if anyone – in Canada and abroad – can disregard Sidney Crosby, a 23-year-old player that hit the winning stroke in Canada’s national game in Olympics. I would really like to know an agency, a sponsor, an individual who would not want to invest in this young man or in his team for that matter. I would be grateful to anyone who can explain to me why corporate Canada has not launched any media campaign to outreach to the youth, to the South Asian youth, to a community that is a fastest visible minority growing in Canada, or is the decision left up to ill informed planning/advertising agencies who do not bother to do their home work.

I would like to note that my sister has graduated with a major in accounting. She is 21. She has been offered a $40,000 job as a beginner. She is using a cell phone that she thinks suits best for her; she chose the network she will buy it from at the age of 18; we are the ones who highly suggested to our father that he buy a Toyota that we should have a cable that has desi channels and HBO and in another couple of years, she would be buying a condo of her own, looking for mortgage companies, car of her own and an insurance company that fulfills her need. And, yet, youth is not a consumer and corporate Canada and the government does not feel that money should be invested in the youth, and the magazine that represents them.

In one of media get-togethers, the Honourable Jason Kenny, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Multiculturalism, honoured the community press for highlighting the issues of the community, issues that the mainstream media does not cover. Well, Minister Kenny, I am raising another issue here. Why is youth being disregarded? Why is a paper that wants to engage youth at all levels of society humiliated by being labeled as a “kids’ magazine?” And why are a bunch of ill-informed people being allowed to make decisions on Canada’s future.

And, we all know that it is a politically correct thing to say that youth is our future and we should invest in them, yet when the time to invest comes, youth is not a buyer, not a consumer, nowhere.

I don’t believe we can make Sidney Crosby by having this attitude. And I am sure many – almost everyone – would agree.

Author:Asma Amanat

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