Recession? What Recession? Prevailing Market Wisdom Says Gays Are Less Affected by Economic Downturns Than Heterosexuals. but How Wise Is That Wisdom?

By Davidson, Alex | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), April 2009 | Go to article overview

Recession? What Recession? Prevailing Market Wisdom Says Gays Are Less Affected by Economic Downturns Than Heterosexuals. but How Wise Is That Wisdom?


Davidson, Alex, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


THERE ARE WINNERS and losers in recessions. The obvious losers are laid-off workers, businesses that can no longer turn profits, and nonprofit organizations that rely on charitable contributions. But among the winners are some surprises--take advertising firms that target gay folks, for example.

"Every recession has been our biggest growth year," says Todd Evans, chief executive officer of Rivendell Media, whose clients include Travelocity, Absolut, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Johnson & Johnson. "Recessions make every company focus on who their consumers are, and that's what niche marketing is all about. The gay market is easy to target; it's an easy group to focus on."

Advertisers have it in their minds that gay people are recession-resistant, meaning they are more likely to continue their spending even in rough economic times. Why? Three reasons, Evans says: Gay people are less likely to let changes in the economy affect their behaviors, they have fewer (or no) children, and they are less likely to be strapped for cash. As a result, companies struggling to make money during down times often hone in on gay individuals and couples. "Every company wants to reach DINKs," Evans says, using the marketing acronym for "double income, no kids."

According to a study released in November 2008 by the polling agency Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications, a gay-targeted advertising consultancy, 32% of gay men and lesbians are likely to vacation for longer than a week in the next six months, despite the economic downturn, compared to 28% of heterosexuals. The study also found that gay people are more likely to continue to dine out and that gay men, in particular, are the least likely to change their restaurant spending during a slowing economy.

Bob Witeck, chief executive officer of Witeck-Combs, says he and other marketers first became aware of these trends after 9/11, when travel and restaurant spending plummeted among straight consumers but remained static, or even rose, among gays.

Armed with such data, companies have opted to invest in long-term advertising in the gay and lesbian press. Advertising growth in that segment is outpacing growth in the mainstream press, according to Rivendell Media: Estimated ad revenues in gay media grew by 148% between 1996 and 2006, compared to 51% average ad revenue growth among general consumer publications during that same period. In 2007 more than 96% of ads placed in gay print media were in local publications, with newspapers taking the lion's share of ad dollars. Still, both The Advocate and Out managed to increase ad dollars and ad pages from fourth quarter 2007 to fourth quarter 2008, according to the Magazine Publishers of America.

"With disposable-income items, you see a sustained level of advertising to LGBT individuals," says Justin Nelson, president and cofounder of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. "While things have tapered off a bit, we are still buying our iPhones." But Nelson, whose organization works with 1.4 million LGBT businesses and entrepreneurs, adds that while gay consumers are being targeted for their spending habits, that does not mean that gay businesses are escaping the wrath of the recession. "A lot of gay-owned firms are hurting just like their heterosexual counterparts."

To survive, some gay and lesbian entrepreneurs--like Janie Mahlmann, who owns an IT consulting business outside Trenton, N. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Recession? What Recession? Prevailing Market Wisdom Says Gays Are Less Affected by Economic Downturns Than Heterosexuals. but How Wise Is That Wisdom?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.