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.’