America's male-oriented media outlets have wasted no time in capitalising on the apparent and mysterious decline in young men viewing broadcast TV.

As the big networks struggle to explain the drop, cable channels and print titles are running ads in the US marketing trade press offering advertisers alternative ways to reach the prized young male demographic.

Figures from Nielsen Media Research show an 11% slump in broadcast network viewing among 18 to 34-year-old men since the start of the season. Many TV executives have questioned the accuracy of Nielsen's data, including claims from NBC that a change in the sample is responsible [WAMN: 12-Oct-03]. The research group, however, insists there really has been a falloff in male viewing.

"Where have all the young men gone?" asks an ad from Viacom's male-targeted cable network Spike TV. Needless to say, the promo claims the missing viewers can be found on Spike, watching the likes of The Joe Schmo Show.

Sunday newspaper supplement Parade -- owned by Advance Publications -- also referred to "The case of the missing men" in a trade ad. "If your customers aren't tuned in to TV," it advises, "reach them when they're tuned in to Parade."

And a promotion for Cargo -- Condé Nast Publications' forthcoming shopping magazine for men -- is headed: "Hope you don't mind your ads being man-handled."

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff