Mainstream Marketers Advertise
To Gays And Lesbians: Strategic
Issues and Research Agenda
Timothy B. Greenlee
The past 10 years have been witness to an increasing number of mainstream marketers who direct various elements of the ir promotional efforts at the gay and lesbian consumer market, of ten referred to as the “dream market” (Lukenbill, 1995). Because it ischaracterized as an over $500 billion market comprising approximately 18 million consumers(Johnson & Levin, 1993), mainstream marketers have found it increasingly difficultto ignore such a consumer group. The lucrative nature of this market segment has fueled significant growthin the advertising revenue genby gay and lesbian print media, making itthe fastest growing category in theadvertising print market industry. Advertising revenue in the gay and lesbian press increased from $74 million in 1996 to $100 million in 1997 to $110 million in 1998. In addition, the rearenow over 152 gay and lesbian magazines and newspapersacross the country reaching over 5million consumers(Nicholson, 1999). Such growthrates underscorethe movement of mainstream marketers toattract andretaina portion of the gay and lesbian consumerdollar.
As the number of mainstream marketersappealing to the gay and lesbian consumer segment increases, firms must continue to increase the ir level of commitment to the gay and lesbian community. In doing so, mainstream marketers must understand the effectiveness of various communication strategies for targeting gay and lesbian consumers ingay media. Increasing levels of commitment and corporate involvement can beachieved via internal and externalpaths. Internally, mainstream Marketers may consider a wide range of corporate policies toward gayandlesbian-specific issues. Externally, mainstream Marketers may consider advertising strategies that specifically target the gay and lesbian community. Ideally,