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Older Australians treated as ‘brain dead’ by ‘patronising’ advertisers – survey

A large number of Australians over the age of 50 think advertising directed at them is patronising, a survey has found.

Online research into 5,402 Australians from the age of 50 to over 80 revealed that 40.5% of this group feel patronised by advertising.

Only 8.1% find ads to be entertaining, while 33.9% say they are informative, the research found.

One comment from a survey respondent read: “It appears that we either do not exist – or are treated as if we’re brain dead.”

Another read: “Just because I’m a little bit older doesn’t mean everything has to be dumbed down.”

The survey, by publisher YourLifeChoices between August and September this year, also revealed attitudes to media among seniors.

The older age group is more likely to get their daily news online than in a newspaper – although print is the medium they trust the most.

TV tops the list of daily news sources, followed by online, radio then print. Smart phone apps are the least likely source of news.

Mobile is the least trusted advertising medium among over fifties.

But the smart phone is the technology that this group is most likely to buy over the next 12 months.

The internet is the most popular tool for researching purchases before buying – followed by word of mouth. Direct mail was next, above newspapers, magazines, TV and radio.

Kaye Fallick, publisher at YourLifeChoices, concluded from the research that older Australians are being underestimated by advertisers.

“It seems inconceivable that the 24% of the Australian population holding 56% of the net assets have to beg to spend their money. Consumers aged 50, 60 and beyond have twice the money and even more time to purchase goods and services,” she said.

“They are researching and purchasing online, often via a mobile device. But no one is listening and even fewer brands are engaging with this potentially lucrative sector.”

“So is this lack of success evidence of ageism, a dearth of older creative heads in agencyland or a lack of useful insights into what older Australians really want? Sadly I think it’s all three,” she said.

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