SRW closes on Election Day to “pay people to vote”


SRW Agency
is giving its employees
a paid day off
for Election Day
Tuesday, November 6

SRW, an independent, full-service marketing agency with a penchant for growing natural health and wellness brands, today announced its initiative to close agency doors on Election Day in an effort to encourage youth voter turnout for the midterm elections. It’s the second time the agency is providing paid leave for Election Day, but the team hopes to have a broader impact now that their footprint has grown.

Kate Weidner, SRW Co-Founder & COO
“We recently discovered that fewer than one in five voters age 18-29 exercised their right to vote in the last midterm election. If you’ve walked the halls of any agency in the past few years, you know how much of the ad world falls into this age range. We did some quick math and realized that more than 50% of our full-time employees and network of freelancers are ages 29 and younger,” said Kate Weidner, SRW’s Co-Founder and COO.
“We want to make an impact. To do that, people say they want money out of politics, but hey, we’re going another way,” continued Weidner. “We’re paying people to vote, and we think other agencies should do the same.”
Weidner acknowledges employees will receive paid time off on November 6, whether they vote or not, and says she knows and is grateful early voting makes the process more convenient outside of work hours for some. But she and her co-founders indicated closing their doors for the big day also marks a chance for employees to spread their participation through canvassing, phone banking, and making Election Day an event to share with their friends and families.
Charlie Stone, SRW co-founder & CEO
“Many young voters report not voting because they simply never learned how,” shared SRW co-founder and CEO, Charlie Stone. “We want to lead by example. We’re lucky to have a platform to start this conversation and hope it gains steam.”
“We know there are a lot of agencies who work their employees to the brink. It’s not unrealistic to imagine that many of these voters simply don’t have time to get to the polls after a 14-hour day at their office. And whether the agencies are independent, local, or held internationally, we hope they’ll all take note of our efforts to help the next generation of the Ad World make an impact on a much bigger scale,” said Stone. “It’s time we pay our people to do more than client work – it’s time we pay them to vote.”
SRW recognizes the implications of closing up shop for a full day. Timelines will shift, figurative productivity dollars tracked in spreadsheets will of course be lost. But, Stone shared, maybe it’s time for agencies to stand for something in a real way – even if no one wins an award for their efforts.
Brian Rolling, SRW co-founder & CCO
“Is it easy to shut down for a day? Hell no. But if we can do it, anyone can,” echoed SRW co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Brian Rolling. “For any agency, losing a day has a huge impact on our workflow. But whether big or small, this is something we can all do.”
Rolling said many employees have shared they plan to use their time off to put more thoughtful research into their voting selections, using their day off to ensure each vote is aligned with their values.
“Having Election Day off is important to me because every American should have the opportunity to vote and feel empowered to exercise their right to do so,” said SRW Strategist Melissa Sweere, 27.  “The majority of western democracies have instituted a paid, mandatory national holiday for their citizens, why haven’t we? It’s time.”
Recent figures show almost 200,000 people work in advertising agencies across the country. More than 60% of employees in the ad industry are aged 25-44, vs. only 50% of all U.S. workers, and a recent Bloomberg article noted that in 2014, 35 percent of registered voters who did not vote said they couldn’t because of work or school obligations.
To learn more, visit SRW Agency.  To make their lawyers and the FEC happy, please understand the SRW Founders are not actually paying their employees to vote, they are just giving them the day off for Election Day. Take the joke, guys.
: Kate Weidner