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More advertisers? Not for More Magazine

“The Readers Are Over 40. (Don’t Tell Advertisers.)” is a New York Times feature that delves into the current struggles of More Magazine, whose average reader is age 51.

Even though More’s newsstand sales are outpacing competitors like O, Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart Living, many advertisers won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole – especially luxury brands.

What’s even more contradictory is that More’s 51-year-old average reader makes about $30,000 more per year than the average reader for Vogue, Allure, and Harper’s Bazaar. At a $93,000-per-year average, More’s readers even beat the readers of Esquire ($66,800) and GQ ($75,100).

The article observes that “where GQ, Esquire, and the younger women’s magazines are filled with ads for designer clothes, fragrances and expensive accessories, the ads in More suggest that when rich women hit 40, they yearn for cheap processed foods.”

So I guess my fellow marketers think empty nesters are the ones eating Ramen noodles and microwave macaroni and cheese, while their collegiate children are spending more time in Saks than in class?

One luxury brand – Cadillac – that’s not ignoring the purchasing powerhouse that is More’s reader base, even admits it would like to see a younger average reader. Cadillac’s divisional advertising manager explains that “Cadillac, like probably most automakers, but certainly those in the luxury space, is trying to lower the median age of the car buyer.”

Knowing that between now and 2025, the young adult crowd will grow by only seven-tenths of one percent (6.9 million) and that adults over 40 will increase by more than 21 percent (30 million), I just don’t know what some people are thinking.

Clifford’s column explains it as well. “While [More] tackles ageism in its pages, it is getting a good dose of it from advertisers.” More, which was introduced in 1998 to target boomer women with money to spare, and has increased circulation almost every year.

I suppose I should just be happy that the opportunity lives on for the astute marketer (thank you Immersion Active clients) willing to defy Madison Avenue.