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Advertisors eager to tap into gay market, study finds

Ad spending in gay press outpaces mainstream

Companies are trying harder than ever to appeal to gay consumers, a new study finds.

Advertising in the gay and lesbian press has increased a whopping 205 per cent in the last ten years.

In the same decade, ad spending in all consumer magazines increased only 47 per cent.

The number of ads in gay and lesbian publications is also outpacing ad spending in all consumer magazines. The growth rate for ads in the queer press is almost three times higher than the rate for other publications.

But the study, which is produced annually by ad agency Prime Access Inc. and gay media firm Rivendell Media, did find that there were slightly fewer ads with “gay specific” content in 2006 than there were in 2005. But targeted ads still account for 48.6 per cent, almost half of the ads in gay publications.

“This year’s report confirms how, in just one decade, gay and lesbian consumers have gone from an overlooked niche to an audience that Fortune 500 companies are working overtime to reach,” said Howard Buford, President of Prime Access Inc. in a statement released to the press.

“The numbers make it clear that corporate America recognizes and values both the spending power and influence of gay consumers.”

The study found that 183 Fortune 500 brands advertised in gay publications in 2006. While that number is a drastic increase from 19 such brands in 1994, it’s still only a small percentage of the one thousand companies on the Fortune 500 list.

According to the study, the most popular advertising categories in gay media are travel, financial services, automotive, fashion and entertainment.