More advertisers? Not for More Magazine

by David Weigelt

“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.

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2 Responses to More advertisers? Not for More Magazine

  1. Beth says:

    There’s always been an ageism gap between males and females. An older, more established man is still desirable, maybe even more desirable because of his money and success. An older, successful woman…not so much, until lately, when “cougars” like Demi Moore have demonstrated that older women can still be sexy and desirable–even to younger men!

    I hope More magazine can triumph over its struggles! It’s a good magazine for us hot, sexy, 40+ cougars! Just wish I had some of that disposable income!!!!!!

    Beth Werrell

  2. I realize this article was written over a year ago, but I agree with the writer. As an editor of an on-line magazine for those over 50, many of our advertisers are elder care related. I shake my head time and time again; I, too, enjoy good food, good wine, good reads, good clothing, and I’m not ready for elder care! Great article!

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