Over-50s dating app Lumen has persuaded half a dozen people to bare all in a protest against "everyday ageism" in advertising, with each model handed nothing but a placard emblazoned with an anti-ageism slogan to protect their modesty.
Each person featured in the campaign presents an eye-catching message in support of their cause to such as: ‘Grey hair don’t care’, ‘Nobody puts Granny in the corner’ and ‘It’s our time to be seen’; different iterations of which will be presented to commuters on the London Underground from Monday (8 April).
Charly Lester, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Lumen, remarked: “The fact that almost nine in 10 over-50s think that advertising aimed at them needs to change should be a real wake-up call to the industry about the ‘everyday ageism’ all around us. Not only is it a case of underrepresentation, but heavily edited images are making older people feel like it’s not ok to be themselves.”
The campaign launch follows on from Lumen’s ‘Sexy Santa’ ad, which was accused of ‘objectifying’ an older model, being banned from the Transport for London (TfL) network last year.
“Our Santa billboard, that was banned in December, was designed to make the ‘invisible over-50s visible, and show just because you’re aged over 50 doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy and have a little fun – and it was phenomenally successful. We’re calling on advertisers to reconsider how they portray older age groups and show them for the attractive, funny and real people they are.”
The naked narrative follows new research by Lumen which found that 86% of over-50s wanted advertising targeted at them to change, with 51% complaining of too much airbrushing and 36% put off by models looking like plastic.
Overall 30% complained that models and celebrities were made to look younger than their actual age, with 36% observing that too much emphasis is placed on the downsides of advancing years. This fed through to 31% of over 50s coming to believe that advertising is ageist.
Previous surveys have shown that 68% of over-50s feel misrepresented in advertising.