Monday, August 24, 2009

Aging women: if you don't laugh, you'll cry (NYT)

Today's New York Times looks at More magazine, aimed at women over 40.

Stephanie Clifford points out that a magazine whose organizing principle, aging, provokes anxiety among its readers, has an inescapable challenge.
“Don’t take it seriously,” Lesley Jane Seymour, the editor in chief of More, said in a recent interview. “We’re making fun of ourselves. We don’t take aging seriously. It happens to everyone. You can’t avoid it.”

More certainly does not. Age infiltrates almost every article, and while it is a touchy subject for readers, advertisers are wary about it as well. More’s average reader is 51, among the oldest in the magazine business, making selling ads a challenge, More executives say. While it tackles ageism in its pages, it is getting a good dose of it from advertisers.

Advertisers show the same blind spots as I mentioned in my last blog:
[Advertisers] penalize the magazine because its readers are female. The More reader makes a lot more than the average reader of Esquire, at about $66,800, and GQ, at about $75,100. But 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.


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