Attacking Ageism in Advertising


This article originally appeared in Issue# 45

At AARP, Senior Stereotypes Give Way to Active Advertising

An advertisement for a calcium dietary supplement, recently seen in numerous national magazines, depicts a woman's silhouette frame by frame as she moves rightward across a page. She is apparently aging before our eyes, growing progressively older and more stooped as she succumbs to osteoporosis. By the last frame she needs the support of a cane.

Another ad, obviously directed to the over-50 age group, pictures a stereotypical white-haired old lady leaning out of a car window and holding a glass of dark liquid. The headline reads: 'Prune Power To Go." Accompanying copy describes the virtues of a prune product in dealing with a failing digestive system.

Both ads reflect the lack of respect and fear of aging

Author Bio: 

Robert E. Wood is director of the publications division of the American Association of Retired Persons and publishing director of Modern Maturity magazine.