How do editors woo that cashed-up older, er, senior, er, more mature, er… boomer generation? Not the way the Adelaide Advertiser has done with its Boomer supplement.

Baby boomers think they’re never going to die. But the Tiser has buried them. Literally. One of Boomer’s major advertisers was Adelaide’s major cemetery.

Well known Adelaide local communications figure and social researcher Pamela Schulz felt obliged to pen a letter to the editor:

I would like to add my comments regarding The Advertiser Boomer magazine. It was not a lifestyle magazine, but rather a “deathstyle” magazine.

As a boomer turning 60 this year, I am sick of being reminded that I am a potential burden. I am not and neither are most of my friends and colleagues who are boomers.

I have my own superannuation, continue to work and provide for myself and family and will not be a burden on this community if I can help it.

What about celebrating the fact that 60 is the new 40 and that we are, as a group, committed as much as anyone to health and wellbeing, not just ourselves but others as well…

She hasn’t been alone in reacting that way. One grumpy old man in the media tells Crikey: “A few months ago they described a man in his mid fifties as ‘elderly’.” And that’s bad commercial practice for the paper.

South Australia has an ageing demographic, but Advertiser staff just seem to keep on getting younger and younger. It ain’t doing nothing for their news priorities or how the paper relates to its potential audience. This got a run as a story a few weeks ago:

Jess Moyle, 18, of St Georges, said rising petrol prices had meant she had to cut back on her beauty maintenance.

One of her indulgences was acrylic nails. “I wait now until I am desperate to get my fingernails done — I get them done every five weeks but I used to get them every three weeks,” she said…

The reaction on the letters page was predictable. And Advertiser management and editors can’t say they weren’t warned. Crikey understands that editorial staff questioned the wisdom of the Boomer magazine. Their response? Marginalise the dissenters. And alienate customers.

Peter Fray

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