Sounding off on women in ads

Our article about what seems to be a lack of females over the age of 35 in television commercials prompted several reader e-mails and Facebook comments.

Lauren wrote: " According to commercials, all women over 30 are busy moms and all men are idiots who should be wearing safety helmets to get through their day."

"I worked as a copywriter for years," wrote Danny. "It was always a young person's game and that was just a given. I was replaced with a kid … in his 20s who didn't have kids or much life experience to write for products that only moms would want."

"It's time to stop consenting to this image that we're all airbrushed teenagers who weigh 80 pounds," wrote Mary. "Our voices can be heard with our purchasing power."

"Why do advertisers feel that women over 50 only want to buy luxury cars or Viagra?" asked Linda.

"When face wrinkles finally rock, several lavish vacations will replace plastic surgery," wrote Therese. "I look forward to the day …"

After Erika watched the video of my commercial where I portray a woman with menopause, she said, "On some level looking at an attractive woman such as yourself talking openly about having her uterus shrivel up and needing meds for it makes me feel better about myself and whatever body betrayal I am facing currently. And, the conventional wisdom will be that I will buy the advertised product." She then added, "I won't buy Activia yogurt, however, because Jamie Lee Curtis makes me feel old and frumpy."

"I am an actress and the work really dried up after I hit 40," wrote Nancy. "I do agree that voiceover work is much more available once we age—but how sad that 42 is considered OLD!"

"There has never been much truth in advertising, and I think we have all, sadly, come to accept that," wrote David."Witty ads with age-relevant actors/actresses are what catch my attention … and money."

"How dare advertisers decide for us who is beautiful based on age," wrote Bonni. "Remember when the lovely Isabella Rossellini was given the cosmetic boot from Lancome because she was 'too old'? I don't believe Isabella was even 50 at the time. She was gorgeous and still is. Have you seen Sophia Loren lately? 80-odd and still a raving beauty."

Lisa said, "Dove uses women (and men) in their ads who better represent the average consumer, and I, for one, often buy their products just out of respect for the statement that makes."

"The advertiser's target audience has just discovered their true power," wrote Jan. "They are strong, fearless, smart, responsible, active and intuitive. And, as they continue to mature, they become comfortable with their power and THAT is sexy. You go, Helen Mirren!"

"I'm really glad you brought this up, Jen," wrote Denise. "I'm also wondering where the female executives are who can change this? What is this, 1960?"

(Mindy Verson, one of our experts in my original column and managing partner of Audio Producers Group, wanted to be sure to point out that her company is not involved in ageism. "We are a certified women-owned business. I allow women to bring babies to auditions when they can't get child care," she wrote. "We really champion actors and their needs.")

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