The portrayal of older characters in magazine advertising

Carrigan, M. and Szmigin, I. (1999). The portrayal of older characters in magazine advertising. Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science, 5(6/7/8) pp. 248–261.



Looks at the way in which the over-50s in the UK are portrayed in advertising directed at older audiences and compares this with advertisements in US publications. Discusses the reluctance of marketers to use older people in advertising, offering a number of explanations for this. Adopting the technique of content analysis, finds that US and UK publications for the over-50s have a similar level of character representation, adding that although older models are increasingly being used in publications for this age range, they are not being used in mainstream publications. Points out that in the USA the American Association of Retired Persons rejects many advertisements containing negative images of older people and wonders whether UK publications ought to follow suit. Contends that UK advertisements do not reflect the range of purchases made by older consumers, instead being too focused on age-related products.

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