Straight Scoop On Gay Advertising

    November 23, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A poll conducted by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs reveals that gay and lesbian consumers are less bothered by advertising, either on TV, in print, or online, than the general population and are more likely to appreciate product information. But like other demographics, gays and lesbians have little tolerance for pop-up ads or ads that block content.

Not only is this demographic more likely to respond to and appreciate advertising, nearly half (47%) of the gays and lesbians polled also agreed that they trusted brands more if they have seen them advertised in gay media. Only 23 percent of gays and lesbians disagreed with this statement.

Compared to heterosexuals, greater proportions of gays and lesbians report that advertising, especially television and magazine ads, motivates them to consider buying products. In magazines, 21 percent of gays and lesbians agree with this statement, while only 16 percent of heterosexuals do. On television ads, the number was 12 percent of gays and lesbians compared to eight percent of heterosexuals.

“Last year with more than 800 brands advertised to the gay market, as well as a quarter billion ad dollars invested in reaching same-sex households, it is critical to measure the impact of these investments,” said Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc.

“According to the Commercial Closet Association, more than a third of Fortune 100 companies have developed advertising and marketing campaigns that speak to or include gays and lesbians, and more do so each year. As this study confirms, gay men and lesbians may be more motivated to respond to advertising messages, especially offers that are sensitive and respectful of their needs and identities.”

Both groups, 88 percent of gays and lesbians and 86 percent of heterosexuals, found ads that pop up, waste space, or block content to be annoying. But gays and lesbians are less likely to than heterosexuals to declare advertising “boring,” tending to find it more “entertaining than non-gay respondents. In addition, gays and lesbians were more likely to report that ads gave them “information they can use.”