Gay-specific adverting in the gay press
hit a record high last year, according to the 2009 Gay Press Report,
an annual survey of advertising in the gay media.
Advertising that directly portrays gay
and lesbian consumers and their lives in LGBT publications hit an
all-time high of 61.9%, the survey reported. In 2002, only 9.9% of
all ads were gay-specific.
“We continue to find that
gay-specific advertising is by far the most effective with this
audience, producing the biggest return on investment,” said Howard
Buford, CEO and founder of Prime
Access, the New York-based advertising firm, which, along with
media firm Rivendell
Media, has produced the report since 1999.
The report also found that spending in
the gay press jumped to an all-time high of $349.6 million last year,
up from $307.7 million in 2008. Revenues have grown 377% since 1996.
During three years early in the decade
– 2001 to 2003 – spending in the gay press contracted, with the
largest decreased coming in 2003, which saw a 17.8% drop. Growth
failed to reach double digits from 2005 to 2007.
Last year's growth comes as the media
industry faced one of its toughest years, with revenues for consumer
magazines down 15.6% over the same time period – its lowest point
“The numbers do not lie, and even I
was surprised at how gay media held its own in such a tough market,”
Todd Evans, president and CEO of Rivendell Media, said. “Gay media
sales have always doubled in past recessions as companies focus their
media on their best customers. While we didn't see that kind of
increase this year, the numbers are still significant.”