This 50-something is digging her heels in

Did Marketing Week intentionally use Hotter as an example of bad practice or was it simply a wonderful example of irony? Making a sweeping statement such as: “ When we reach 50… comfort starts to override the more glamorous aspects of footwear” is exactly the kind of stereotyping that us 50+ consumers find so annoying. 

I did not change overnight when I reached 50 and I’m sticking to my 10cm heels thank you very much. 

Good marketing involves responding to audiences’ needs – not being patronising. So, MW, note that your Segmenting the over-50s box used a small black type face on a dark green background. Not the easiest thing to read. Using better contrast would have done the trick. That’s the way to market effectively to the older half of the population.

Valerie Morton, fundraiser and consultant


The fact over-50s feel advertising isn’t aimed at them, shows that marketers need to reacquaint themselves with their customers.

It’s easy to fall-back on demographic stereotypes and as a result create ineffectual marketing. In fact, it’s in our nature to make these assumptions, and imagining that over-50s don’t use the internet is a perfect example of this. Brands need to focus on using segmentation and thoroughly interrogating the resulting segments – for example meeting some of them in real life – to get an accurate representation of each group.

Nick Barthram, principal planner, Indicia

Outbrain: right or wrong?

With regard to the native advertising ruling against Outbrain, advertisers clearly do not want to flag up such content as ‘contextually targeted’ advertising even if publishers could be persuaded to. There is a tension with the regulator who has jurisdiction and a wide discretion to decide it is ‘misleading‘ and an ‘unidentified marketing communication’ in breach of the CAP Code to not label this content by words such as ‘sponsored’ or ‘promoted’, despite Outbrain’s claim that it followed industry practice.

This outcome is hardly surprising given that Outbrain merely used the text ‘you may also like these’ and ‘recommended by’ next to its logo on the third party websites. Clearly the regulator is looking for a much clearer label for ‘native advertising’, even if it does have a negative effect on this kind of copy.

Charles Lloyd, head of Advertising Group (UK), Taylor Wessing

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling against Outbrain’s labelling of its ads is no surprise. We have been aware of the ASA’s stance for some time, as we’re part of the IAB native working group and the discussions about disclosure. 

The ruling was primarily against terms such as ‘more from the web’ and ‘you may also like’, which do not denote they are ad placements.

In our opinion, full disclosure leads to a better consumer and publisher experience. Our findings suggest that the public read what interests them, whether it is an ad or not. Our job is to make sure that the native content we create and distribute for our brand partners is engaging, informative and likely to boost brand uplift as a result. It’s not about tricking website visitors to click on some content that they didn’t know was an ad. Brands should want people to know that it is their content.

Francis Turner, managing director, Adyoulike UK

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