NEWS: Mainstream media must target elderly, BMRB study claims

Mainstream commercial media are neglecting a potentially lucrative audience by being condescending to people aged 50 and over, according to research by the independent industry research body, BMRB.

Mainstream commercial media are neglecting a potentially lucrative

audience by being condescending to people aged 50 and over, according to

research by the independent industry research body, BMRB.



Half of the 4,000 50- to 75-year-olds surveyed said the media failed to

take themseriously, while more than half claimed that most ads were

irrelevant to them.



The age group in question, which is largely served by anumber of ‘grey’

magazines such as Saga, Choice and Yours, is thought to account for

around 18 million people - 40 per cent of the UK population - with a

spending power of about pounds 130 billion.Fiona Smedley, the media

planning director of Universal McCann, which is currently planning a

major product launch for Cereal Partners aimed at the ‘grey’ market,

said the over-50s were under-served by both media owners and

advertisers. ‘All the work we have done into this area suggests that,

both quantitatively and qualitatively, this is a very lucrative target

audience,’ she commented.



Smedley criticised both the mainstream and specialist ‘grey’ media for

giving older people role models of their own age. ‘The mirror image held

up to them is not particularly attractive,’ she said.



The study’s findings have been jumped on by Saga, which is bidding for

an independent regional radio licence in Yorkshire. If it succeeds, the

station will become the first in the UK to target the over-50s. Tim

Bull, a director of Saga, said: ‘Commercial radio underperforms among

listeners aged 50 and over.’



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