Pink Money-- some interesting facts

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    Apr 25, 2008 2:48 PM GMT
    For a recent class project I decided to do an in-depth investigation of pink money from a perspective of buying power from the gay community. What I found was shocking and raised some interesting questions that I though I might share. Please read.

    Firstly, what is "pink money"?
    -The term describes the purchasing power of the gay community. It is, in effect, the post-tax discernable income that individuals have to spend. And as of late, it is becoming highly sought after by large companies and marketing firms. No longer considered a narrow niche, corporate America is waking up to the enormous opportunity of marketing to gays and lesbians.

    Don't gay people have more money than their straight counterparts?
    - Yes and no. According to the 2000 census gay men actually make less money than their straight counterparts. Gay men in same-sex couples had an average income of $48,960 vs. married men $56,368.
    Lesbians in same-sex couples had an average income of $40,025 vs. married women $28,748. But, gay men are obviously less likely to have children (though actually 22.5% of couples do) allowing them even more disposable income. Gays and lesbians are also more likely to have a college degree. Also, same-sex households are more likely to have both individuals working compared to married households (2x income).

    Advertising:
    - 2005 showed about 175 of Fortune 500 brands were advertised in gay media resulting in more that $212 million in revenue for community media.


    And here come the big numbers:
    - Gay/Lesbian buying power was:

    - $610 billion in 2005. (6.7% of total for US).

    - $641 billion in 2006.

    - $835 billion estimated by 2011.

    - $1 trillion estimated by 2012.

    WOW!

    So what's the problem?
    - Do you think it's actually a good thing that the gay community is being sought after as a marketable source? Are we nothing more than huge dollar signs to businesses? Do they actually support gay rights/causes or are they just trying to tap another market? And, are business sectionalizing the community and actually creating more seperation from the larger "straight" economy by advertising and marketing for gay-only products and services? Isn't the final goal of the gay rights movement to be complete equals and not have "seperate, but equal" status?

    Discuss.
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    Apr 25, 2008 4:11 PM GMT
    zrs106 saidDo they actually support gay rights/causes or are they just trying to tap another market?


    I'm in marketing and therefore biased, but tremendous good has/will come from major corps tapping into this market. The search for increasing profits is the mechanism by which capitalism operates. It's always the core motivation.
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    Apr 25, 2008 9:41 PM GMT
    Undoubtedly goodwill has come from the recognition of the gay community as a viable market. But, might this contribute to the sectionalization of gays from straight? Much like the black community keeps to itself in many places, will the gay communities be seperated? Is this a good thing?
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    Apr 25, 2008 10:08 PM GMT
    I don't see it as a good thing.
    Just as it does with women, these ads create whatever "mythical" gay guy they think will sell products. We all get so excited that we actually don't realize what is happening.

    Pharmaceutical companies place pics of men living with AIDS having a ball creating a false sense of security amongst young gay men who never experienced watching their friends all die from the disease. (Not that you can't have AIDS and be healthy and feel good, but those ads are ridiculously one sided).
    We are YEARS away from a cure, but with the upsurge of bare backing you would think we already had one.
    I believe those ads are one of the reasons for our own feelings of complacency at protecting our health.

    I am not even going to address the homo erotic images at Abercrombie and Fitch that created a whole generation of gay guys adopting the tan faced, whitened teeth, "sun" bleached hair, flip flops and tight polo shirts that you see in every gay bar around the country. This idea didn't just come to us randomly, it was manufactured by someone in an advertising agency.

    What should matter is legislation for equal rights and companies donating money for AIDS research etc., not beer ads with shirtless guys with six packs getting wasted and playing football on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

    I'm tired of looking at dumbed down ads. It takes more than a pic of some shirtless tanned guy para gliding to make me trust or spend my money with a corporation.

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    Apr 25, 2008 10:09 PM GMT
    zrs106 saidBut, might this contribute to the sectionalization of gays from straight? Much like the black community keeps to itself in many places, will the gay communities be seperated? Is this a good thing?


    I'm pretty damn sure it isn't the marketing campaigns that are responsible for separating gay folks from straight folks. I mean, here we are...discussing this issue...on a gay site.

    Gay people are just as responsible for making overtures to the straight community as straights are to gays.
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    Apr 25, 2008 10:21 PM GMT
    Pierrecadot saidI am not even going to address the homo erotic images at Abercrombie and Fitch that created a whole generation of gay guys adopting the tan faced, whitened teeth, "sun" bleached hair, flip flops and tight polo shirts that you see in every gay bar around the country. This idea didn't just come to us randomly, it was manufactured by someone in an advertising agency.


    ...and followed blindly by those gay guys. They have brains and free will. They can choose to ignore that message and assert their own identities (or maybe that's just the look they like...). Otherwise, your comment is more a criticism of herd behavior within gay culture than of the marketing apparatus.
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    Apr 25, 2008 10:22 PM GMT
    hobronto said[quote]
    ...and followed blindly by those gay guys. They have brains and free will. They can choose to ignore that message and assert their own identities (or maybe that's just the look they like...). Otherwise, your comment is more a criticism of herd behavior within gay culture than of the marketing apparatus.



    There is truth to that, of course.
    But advertising is powerful and you obviously know that being in marketing.
    You can't always blame the consumer, especially one clamoring for acceptance and validation.
    The desire to have a tight t shirt with an abercrombie logo emblazoned across the chest is a result of advertising, not some spontaneous fashion choice.
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    Apr 25, 2008 10:34 PM GMT
    I read somewhere that 80% of people that identify as gay and lesbian in the US are in position of a current passport compared with less than 10% of the general population...

    Not really relevant but I remember reading the stats in relation to gays consumers
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    Apr 26, 2008 1:50 PM GMT
    gettoknowit saidI'm not too informed on the economy and I do have that the positive expectation behind me to just say the united states is doing well financially and our economy is stable and in great shape. Here is something about money though...


    Five Dollar Bill

    I got five on it.


    Umm.. thanks.
    Now I feel much better about the economy.
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    Apr 26, 2008 3:08 PM GMT
    "I'm pretty damn sure it isn't the marketing campaigns that are responsible for separating gay folks from straight folks. I mean, here we are...discussing this issue...on a gay site."

    -- So, then do we blame the website? Is realjock responsible for seperating gay from straight? If realjock wasn't here...would we all be on a straight fitness community website? I don't think so.

    People will flock and herd with same-types for a common bond. This is undoubtable. But, when the opportunity isn't available to join a gay community, they will probably join (or tolerate) the straight community as a more closeted person. Or, at least not as out and open as we are here.

    So, is Realjock doing a service or disservice?
  • GQjock

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    Apr 27, 2008 3:18 PM GMT
    This has been our strength in the last few years...
    I think that pink money is actually a misnomer because money only comes in one color and that's green
    with the recognition that we are out there as gay men and women business has had to come to terms with that fact
    that's why coming out of the closet and stating who you are is so important
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    Apr 28, 2008 5:13 PM GMT
    not to be mean, but alot of time questions get asked but direct answers aren't given:

    is it a "good" thing that businesses now advertise to lgbt audiences?


    the good:
    recognition + visibility = dialogue + familiarity

    the bad:
    corporate greed + accidental bribery = false sense of acceptance/equality?

    the ugly:
    consumerism - culture = stereotypes


    i'm glad we're getting recognition, but it annoys me that we're buying equality, and it frightens me that lgbt people may be negatively impacted by even further entrenched media-generated norms concerning youth obsession and physical perfection. nothing is perfect - i'd prefer being reached out to than not, because these companies also tend to adopt lgbt friendly policies once they've realized lgbt money will buy just as much oil as anyone else's; however, we should be treated as equal because we're human, not because we have discretionary blah blah blah.
  • redheaded_dud...

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    Apr 29, 2008 6:44 PM GMT
    Choose your study/pink money carefully.

    This study says gays actually earn LESS than their straight counterparts. Still, I don't have to put a little crumb-muncher through college, or even daycare. I just have to kennel the dog when I pull my passport out to take a trip!

    Study finds US gay men earn 23% less than straight men
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-5860.html

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    May 18, 2008 2:04 PM GMT
    gettoknowit saidit would be so great to see what we call "paper money" and "dollar bills" be banned and for the world to start using mineral currency in the same form except made out of thin sheets of gold, silver, and copper like our coins are.


    Great idea.icon_question.gif
    or maybe just make currency out of liquid diamonds or holograms so we could still put it in our pockets without having to worry about the sharp edges.
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    May 18, 2008 3:31 PM GMT
    Can we leave the moose alone?

    I'm sick of guys painting all the gay men who shop at Abercrombie as stuck up, tanorexic, elitists with having some sort of agenda... God forbid anyone want to wear jeans and a t-shirt..icon_rolleyes.gif

    A&F when you think about it is a very smart company. It needs zero advertising and it still sells its self. They created an image and a lifestyle for people to buy into and were very sucsessful with it.

    Mike Jefferes scares the hell outta me but what can ya do?icon_neutral.gif
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    May 22, 2008 5:40 PM GMT
    Sean_85 saidI'm sick of guys painting all the gay men who shop at Abercrombie as stuck up, tanorexic, elitists with having some sort of agenda... God forbid anyone want to wear jeans and a t-shirt..icon_rolleyes.gif


    Really? Try shopping there when your near 30. The looks and remarks I got from the staff pissed me off. Hell most of the stores fire their managers if they go above the age of 25 and cant be promoted to regional or higher.

    Not that it matters much now with a failing US economy.
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    May 22, 2008 6:10 PM GMT
    Well, teenagers spend an average of 50 billion dollars a year in the U.S. makes sense that clothing stores target a demographic that has so much spending power.

    EDIT: scratch that, it's probably much higher now than the documentary they showed us in school said. icon_neutral.gif

    Public school is kinda lame in that regard...icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Paradigm_Shif...

    Posts: 251

    May 22, 2008 6:19 PM GMT
    As a business major I have to side with Hobronto on this one.

    I get really tired of hearing people complain about corporate advertising and sponsorship. I was reading a blog yesterday about a guy who attended a youth LGBT event the 1st year it was launched. The 2nd year he said the event program now had "Glossy" paper as opposed to matte, and it had corporate ads and even corporate booths!!! OMG!!! What a tragedy!!

    Apparently the presence of corporate sponsorship was just too much for him because he decided not to go back. It was no longer "authentic".

    Give me a beak!!

    Corporate sponsorship and gay advertising gives LGBT organizations MILLIONS of dollars!! This money helps LGBT organizations and business grow and better reach out to the LGBT community. Where else can small LGBT events and orgs they get that kind of funding? Donations...?!? lol.

    Not only do their dollars help, but the simple fact that these huge, well known corporations and putting their logo on our events lends credibility and helps to "normalize" us. (at least in the eyes of people who still view gays as those weird people in NYC...). I think instead of segmenting gays as separate from mainstream, this advertising incorporates us into the wider culture. When a "Family" company such as Johnson & Johnson has gay ads, it sends a cultural message to America and helps change people's views. Not to mention the simple fact that more gay exposure will make people more comfortable and aware of gay people/issues.

    Now, Im not saying this arrangement is perfect. Of course there may be some stereotyping and, Im sure EVERY corporate sponsor may not be marching for marriage rights lol. But I think in this case the good FARRR out weighs the bad.
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    Mar 07, 2011 1:24 AM GMT
    LOL, as someone working in the field, you're all dollar signs. Gay, straight, black, white, Asian, Hispanic..... its all about selling you shit you don't necessarily need. So don't worry, it isn't just the homosexual community that are walking wallets, its everyone
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    Mar 07, 2011 1:41 AM GMT
    It's good to be a DINK.
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    Mar 07, 2011 10:32 AM GMT
    Oh, joy. I am now part of a demographic to be targeted by corporations. Really, I want an ad campaign to make me feel unattractive unless I purchase their brand of hair dye, shaving products or skin products...

    You may guess that I have no love for advertising and the consumer culture. I wish those ad agencies would piss of and go back to turning young girls into anorexics and old women into consumers of cosmetics and leave me alone.
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    Mar 08, 2011 9:03 AM GMT
    Paradigm_Shift saidCorporate sponsorship and gay advertising gives LGBT organizations MILLIONS of dollars!! This money helps LGBT organizations and business grow and better reach out to the LGBT community. Where else can small LGBT events and orgs they get that kind of funding? Donations...?!? lol.

    Not only do their dollars help, but the simple fact that these huge, well known corporations and putting their logo on our events lends credibility and helps to "normalize" us. (at least in the eyes of people who still view gays as those weird people in NYC...). I think instead of segmenting gays as separate from mainstream, this advertising incorporates us into the wider culture. When a "Family" company such as Johnson & Johnson has gay ads, it sends a cultural message to America and helps change people's views. Not to mention the simple fact that more gay exposure will make people more comfortable and aware of gay people/issues.

    Now, Im not saying this arrangement is perfect. Of course there may be some stereotyping and, Im sure EVERY corporate sponsor may not be marching for marriage rights lol. But I think in this case the good FARRR out weighs the bad.


    I have to agree. Frederick Douglas once said, "For the Black man to achieve true equality, he must first have economic equality." This drove his desire for public education for black children and for minority owned businesses. The sad truth is that having parity of spending power means that you cannot be marginalized by the commercial community and that message does transcend into popular culture.

    I think it is a good thing that the spending power of the LGBT community is taken seriously. It legitimizes us and makes us a vital part of the nation. We don't have the numbers to make effective change in the ballot box, (at least not in the South where I live) so economic parity is a powerful tool.
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    Jun 02, 2011 5:24 PM GMT
    The majority of gays don't have buying power, they have credit power, and that amounts to pretty much shit.