Half of Single Women Feel They’re Left Out of Advertising

July 9, 2018

Adults in the US are increasingly putting off marriage until later years, if at all. Indeed, a recent Pew Research Data analysis indicates that 57% of 21-36-year-olds have never married, compared to just one-third (33%) of people that age back in 1985. Now, a new study from Hill Holiday [download page] finds that single women between the ages of 30 and 45 feel they’re being ignored in advertising.

The report notes that women in the US are almost as likely to be single as married, citing Census Data. Yet almost half (48%) of single women ages 30-45 surveyed for the report think that single women are “non-existent” in advertising, and a similar proportion (44%) don’t feel that they are fairly represented.

Single women aren’t the only group to complain of brand-related issues. In another new survey [download page], this time conducted among 500 women over the age of 40, Fancy found that three-quarters (76%) feel that brands play a negative role in the perception of women over 40, with 8 in 10 believing that brands perpetuate gender inequality.

One thing brands could do? Show women in roles other than being a mother, according to 9 in 10 mothers over the age of 40.

Given the attitude that brands can play a role in perpetuating or battling gender inequality issues (with the prevailing perception being that advertising is failing in this regard), it’s important to understand how single women view themselves.

Respondents to the Hill Holiday survey were most likely to associate the following six attributes with single, never-married women ages 30-45:

  • Independent (77%);
  • Confident (54%);
  • Responsible (49%);
  • Ambitious (43%);
  • Strong-minded (42%); and
  • Adventurous (32%).

The report recommends brands acknowledge and respect single women and curate experiences for them. This could be particularly important for marketers in the Travel and Financial Services sectors, as travel is the top personal priority for single women and financial security is their top life milestone.

The full study is available to download here.

About the Data: The results are based on female respondents from a survey of 1,217 US men and women ages 30-45 who have never been married and have no children.

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