Study Details Advertising Impact on Gays

A new study suggests gay men and lesbians may be more apt than their straight counterparts to buy after seeing a product in an ad.

As companies plan their advertising budgets for the next year they may want to devote more of their spending to targeting potential gay and lesbian customers.

“What this shows is our market is pretty vibrant,” said Bob Witeck of Witeck-Combs Communications, a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) market, in a press release.

About $145 billion a year is spent on advertising in the U.S.

While the majority of those gay and lesbian people surveyed said they rarely see themselves or people like themselves in ads that reality is slowly changing.

Witeck said in the release there are other cues a gay person picks up on that will lead him or her to want to buy something.

“Gay people dig a little deeper,” he said.

Looking closer at the study’s numbers, 21 percent of gay people say they would be motivated by a magazine to buy something – only 16 percent of heterosexuals say the same.

“Gay media is back and better than ever,” said writer Michael Wilke. “Most of the growth was experienced by local markets instead of national ones when it came to advertising. Things were rosier for Out Magazine then The Advocate, which were both included in a Gay Press survey.”

New advertisers continue to seek out the gay market including Advantage Flea from Bayer, Casio, Dell, Eastman Kodak, Eclipse gum from Wrigley, Edge Shave Gel from S.C. Johnson, Intel, L’Oreal for Vive Shampoo, Oral-B toothbrushes from Braun-Philips, Panasonic, Scion from Toyota, Starbucks, Westin, and Wyndham Hotels.

The Gay Press hadn’t reported their findings in the past three years because the gay market had suffered such a decline in advertising.

LPI Landry predicts a rise in gay ads for next year but is not counting on them for success.

With the launch of a new gay channel, LOGO, on cable which started in June, experts predict a surge in gay advertising.

A decade ago, Subaru launched its first gay ad and has been a steady leader in gay advertising ever since. According to a public relations rep for the company, lesbians were fiercely loyal customers and spread the word-of-mouth “like gold.”

General Motors has followed suit by only targeting gay consumers recently.

According to The Advocate Magazine, car companies are much less skittish than they used to be when it comes to targeting gay consumers.

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