Our thanks to Bryan for a lengthy but interesting piece, not without some flaws. An early extract:
In an age where newspaper circulation is down and alternative media influence is up, newspapers need to maintain a business model which is realistic and profitable, while retaining their dwindling relevancy. They achieve this mostly through advertising – and they are increasingly desperate to increase their online advertising revenue as hard copy sales take a hit. Companies pay newspapers to advertise their products so as to reach their target demographic. Interestingly, many people fail to realise that most companies’ preferred target demographic is women.
Worldwide, 80% of all purchases are made by women. Let that fact sink in for a moment. Men may make more money than women, by working longer hours, engaged in more dangerous careers and entering professions which are more difficult but pay better, such as engineering – but women still spend more money that men do. If you want to sell your product, even if that product is aimed at men, you also target women, as they usually control the purse strings in relationships and the family unit. So when advertisers want to sell something, they know their best chance of capitalising their return on advertising investment (ROI), is to reach out to the main decision maker in financial matters, which is usually women.
So, in their desperate quest to maintain profit margins, newspapers need to deliver the female demographic to potential advertisers. Doing so gives good ROI to the advertisers and makes strong business sense to the publisher.
So how do newspapers deliver the female demographic to their advertisers? The answer is ruthless manipulation, for which longterm exposure is damaging to women, men, and society as a whole. Before explaining how this manipulation works, there are some facts which need to be stated.