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Men and women agree that car advertising is ‘too masculine’

By John McCarthy | Media editor



masculinity article

April 24, 2018 | 4 min read

Car advertising is ‘too masculine’ according to nine out of ten consumers, research from AutoTrader has found.

As a means of influencing a purchasing decision, car ads may be missing a trick, 77% of women said they were put off by hyper-masculine creative while 58% of men admitted hyper-masculinity was unwelcome.

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Overall, 87% of Brits claim to feel increasingly disconnected from car marketing, with almost three-quarters (73%) accusing car adverts of personifying gender stereotypes – something the ASA is keen to stamp out in the UK with harmful portrayals.

Luxury sport car brands were found to be the main offenders according to 82% of respondents, followed by SUVS (69%) and marketing for premium car brands (71%). Hatchbacks only irked 17% of respondents in this category.

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A further 94% of women don’t trust car dealers with 37% believing this would be improved by having more women in the industry.

Le Etta Pearce, Auto Trader’s group sales director, said: “As an industry we should be very concerned by these findings. More than a third of cars in the UK are registered to women, and not only are they the key influencers in purchasing decisions, but more often than not, women are the end user too. What’s more, with women soon to be owning 60% of private wealth globally, more women than ever are financially independent, and that trend is only set to increase. So why, in today’s challenging marketplace where every sale counts, are we still failing to market to women correctly?

“Nearly 40% of women believe that greater diversity across the industry would create a better experience at dealerships for women. So, whilst our research clearly paints a disappointing picture, it does highlight the huge opportunities available to both manufacturers and retailers. Attracting and retaining more female decision makers, marketers and salespeople will not only help drive innovation and creativity across automotive, but it will be vital to growth in the months and years ahead.”

The autobrand notes that female car ownership is up to 11.8m vehicles in 2018, up 66% since 1996.

Teeing up the study is a now series from AutoTrader called the REV Test that will see an all female review team take a deeper look at the issues in the industry.

Earlier this month, The Drum learned how the media brand and car marketplace is preparing for GDPR.

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