Is an older age profile a media disadvantage?

Sandy Whetton

Magazines as products sell well to women readers, but few other marketers seek an older target group. Taking age and class together, media planners can build highly selective older schedules: there is plenty of print media supply, but no 'payload'. One problem is advertiser apathy about older target groups: 'older women aren't sexy enough'. But the new oldies like fashion more, have more leisure, follow travel or health - many are 'healthy foodies' and are generally getting more important. Will they be a 'niche' - or mass market? Probably mass, but what's the difference?

Since older consumers are increasingly being seen as a plum market rather than an accumulation of wrinkly prunes, it may seem odd to think of media with older profiles as being at a disadvantage. However as media planners are still ambivalent about age, then publishers too have a problem in exploiting their wrinkly readers.