In the UK, a third of the population - 20 million people - is over the age of 50, and this proportion is growing as the number of young adults - the traditional target for advertising - shrinks. The older group is also relatively wealthy, and in many cases spend more per head on key consumer categories. But despite this importance, this older group, and particularly older women, are under-represented in advertising, according to a study of 1,852 television adverts.
Older models have virtually disappeared from car advertising, while they are also rare in other categories, including cosmetics, fashion and clothing, mobile phones, and fast food. However, when older models were used, they were not portrayed as stereotypically old or in an otherwise negative light. The stereotyping is in omission rather than commission, it is argued.
Source: The invisible majority: older models in UK television advertising
Peter Simcock and Lynn Sudbury
International Journal of Advertising, Vol 25 No 1
Review by Steve Lodge