Ageing and Society

Advertising in an ageing society

a1 Department of Commerce, University of Birmingham, UK


Age discrimination is one of the last forms of discrimination yet to be tackled by legislation. Despite the call of the United Nations for older people to be treated fairly, regardless of age, many industries still overtly discriminate against them. The advertising industry is a particular offender, either ignoring older people altogether or presenting them in caricatures or negative stereotypes. The authors suggest that regulation or legislation may be required, to raise awareness of the issues surrounding age discrimination and to persuade advertisers to present images of older people which are more relevant and acceptable in today's society.

(Accepted January 1 1999)

Key Words: ageism; advertising; marketing; social responsibility.

c1 Address for correspondence: Department of Commerce, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK, B15 2TT, email: