LGBT marketing

LGBT marketing

LGBT marketing is the act of marketing to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) customers, either with dedicated ads or general ads, or through sponsorships of LGBT organizations and events, or through the targeted use of any other element of the marketing mix.

The LGBT market comprises a large and influential group of customers to a broad range of companies, across industry segments, across many countries around the globe. In the U.S. alone, the LGBT market is estimated to be worth $660 billion (2006) in disposable income. Approximately 4% to 10% of adult populations self-identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual,cite web |title=Gay Marketing Resources |url=http://www.commercialcloset.org/cgi-bin/iowa/about.html?pages=resources |work=CommercialCloset.org |accessdate=2007-06-27] meaning between 12 million and 28 million in the United States alone. Major ad categories include travel, financial services, alcoholic beverages, automotive, entertainment, hair and skincare, luxury goods, pharmaceuticals, and fashion. For example, American Airlines have launched a specific LGBT targeted vacations website.cite web |url=http://www.aavacations.com/Rainbow/ |title=American Airlines Vacations Welcomes You: Fly with a friend while you vacation with a partner! |accessdate=2007-06-27] While over ten years old in the United States, LGBT marketing is a relatively new marketing phenomenon elsewhere in Australia and Europe, including Belgiumcite web |url=http://www.show-my.info/studentencongres/nl/html/home.html |title=Brand Activation |accessdate=2007-06-27 |language=Dutch] and the Netherlands.cite web |url=http://www.euroforum.nl/gaymarketingseminar.htm |title=Gay Marketing Seminar |language=Dutch |accessdate=2007-06-27] LGBT marketing initiatives have not been without controversy both for and against them. Coors Brewing Company was the subject of a boycott by the LGBT community starting in 1973. The boycott was initiated by labor unions to protest the company's antagonistic practices, and was later joined by African Americans, Latinos, and the LGBT community.cite web |url=http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/boycotts,2.html |title=Boycotts |year=2004 |work=glbtq.com |last=Rapp |first=Linda |accessdate=2007-06-27] The LGBT community joined to protest Coors' hiring practices - polygraph tests were often required, during which the prospective employee was asked about their sexual orientation.

Coors ignored the boycott for several years, but made some concessions in 1978, and in 1995 began several countermeasures, including dropping the questions regarding homosexuality and extending domestic partnership benefits to its LGBT employees. The company also hired Mary Cheney as a marketing representative and began advertising in The Advocate and at events such as Denver's PrideFest.

Specialist LGBT marketing agencies in various countries provide specialised LGBT market services to companies seeking to target LGBT customers.

Many brands that have previously ignored the existence of this segment of society now increasingly target LGBT customers.cite web |title=Take Pride in your Brand |url=http://www.brandchannel.com/features_effect.asp?pf_id=229 |date=2004-09-13 |accessdate=2007-06-27 |work=BrandChannel.com |first=Vivian |last=Manning-Schaffel] Time magazine in August 2006 carried a Business article on growing interest amongst brand name advertisers in Europe to target LGBT customers.cite web |url=http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/article/0,13005,901060807-1220477,00.html |title=A New Ad Adage: Same Sex Sells |date=2006-07-30 |accessdate=2007-06-27 |work=Time |last=Smith |first=Adam] Likewise, a number of new brands have emerged offering products and services that appeal directly to the LGBT consumer base. Successful examples include KJ Beckett, 2(x)ist and Ginch Gonch.

See also

* Out Now Consulting
* Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc.

References

External links

* [http://www.commercialcloset.org CommercialCloset.org] - Nonprofit with worldwide LGBT marketing information, research links, and over 3500 LGBT-themed commercials and print advertising examples from 33 countries back to 1917
* [http://www.gaymarketnews.com Gay Market News] - covers latest news on gay marketing
* [http://www.uk.gay.com/headlines/9511 Survey Reveals Gay Spending Power]
* [http://www.247gay.com/article.cfm?section=66&id=8769 Corporate America Taking Notice of GLBT Market]
* [http://www.gfn.com/channelArticle.cfm?channelDesRecordID=101 Survey: Advertising Motivates Gay Consumers]


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