Marketers ignoring older generation in pursuit of youth, says Diageo’s Andy Fennell

Diageo’s chief marketing officer Andy Fennell has warned marketers to stop being obsessed with targeting youth as they risk neglecting a “valuable and influential” older audience.

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Fennell – who oversees marketing strategy for brands including Guinness, Smirnoff and Gordon’s – told Marketing Week that the marketing industry needs to “change [its] paradigms” about how it views older consumers, in line with the ageing population.

Marketers need to “respect and understand” consumers over 35, who are increasingly adopting new media and staying active, Fennel adds.

He said: “Saying you are going to target 18 to 34 year old men is so outdated. We are working more around a lifestyle concept. It’s about how consumers behave and not their age.”

Fennell adds that to say Diageo was specifically targeting older consumers would be “patronising”, but the drinks company will be rolling out specific targeting of channels with broader audiences that include older people.

Diageo’s operating profit increased 2% to £1.7bn in the six months to 31 December. Net sales were up 4% globally in the period to £5.3bn.

Read Marketing Week’s profile of Andy Fennel here

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