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Blog: Ageist Marketing Is Getting Old

According to market research, three in four adults over 55 feel dissatisfied with marketing aimed at them, and 71 percent say that advertising images largely do not reflect their lives. Results from a survey conducted for TV Land, a U.S. cable television channel, back this up. Nearly two-thirds of Boomers responding to the survey said they are growing increasingly dissatisfied with media that ignores them and they are tuning out. In the UK, a survey found that 55 percent of adults over 50 feel that businesses have little interest in older people's consumer needs; 46 percent often don't feel that advertising and marketing are aimed at them; and 50 percent find advertising and marketing that are obviously targeting older people as patronizing or stereotypical. Further, a report by Help the Aged (now part of the charity Age UK) notes that 75 percent of respondents to a survey of people ages 60 and older thought that the media ignored the views of their age group.

When marketing messages and advertising do target adults ages 55 and over, they are largely ineffective, as the above studies (and numerous others) suggest. Such efforts waste billions of dollars, while reinforcing ageist stereotypes. When will media and marketers get that this group has money, power and, yes, the desire and ability to buy products that appeal to them?

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