Does advertising in the UK need older models?

Szmigin, I. and Carrigan, M. (2000). Does advertising in the UK need older models? Journal of Product and Brand Management, 9(2) pp. 128–141.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/10610420010322170

Abstract

Considers whether UK advertisers genuinely target older people, examining the approaches agencies take towards older people and the type of products targeted at this group. Starts with a discourse on the role of advertising, going on to discuss the social implications of whether older models should be used more in advertising in order better to represent society and the management implication of advertisers not targeting a sizeable - and affluent - portion of society, a portion that will increase with the ageing of the UK population. Finds only limited evidence to support the view that older people prefer to see young models, adding that consumers would rather see aspirational images of people their own age. Also reports that evidence on whether younger viewers would be alienated by older models was inconclusive. Based on a small exploratory study of advertising agency attitudes in the UK, suggests that there is resistance to using older models in advertisements, this resistance coming from both the client and the agency.

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