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Gay Plastic Fantastic - UK Gay Market Consumers Spend Big on Credit Cards


New research reveals that gay consumers can offer marketers a new revenue source at a time when the overall market is slowing.

London (OUTNOW/MPG) September 11, 2008 -- Spending on credit cards, internet shopping, music downloading and more are giving many marketers good reason to sit up and take notice of a multi-billion value market many have not previously considered - the gay and lesbian consumer market.

Lesbian and gay men remain relatively under targeted and can offer suppliers of consumer goods, tourism, clothing, homewares, technology and other consumer spend categories significant new marketing opportunities.

Today’s research reveals just how much gays and lesbians are spending on a broad range of consumer categories.

The research shows that the UK’s gay and lesbian consumers offer marketers significant opportunities to grow their revenues during the UK’s worst economic conditions in more than 60 years.

The ’Out Now 2008 Millivres Gay Market Study’ is the most comprehensive analysis ever of the almost 3 million gays and lesbians in the UK.

The research shows this group earned over £81 billion in 2007.

Gay consumers spent a whopping £7.1 billion pounds alone buying goods on the internet last year, and put a total of £23.5 billion pounds on their credit cards during a year of enthusiastic shopping.

Various consumer categories were tested, enabling a total value to be placed on the worth of annual gay consumer spending on a range of key consumer items.

The research was undertaken by leading global gay marketing strategy company, Out Now.

Millivres Prowler is Europe’s largest gay media business, and publishes some of the leading media titles in the UK including GT, DIVA and Pink Paper. The readers of each of these - plus online users of each title’s website - comprise the sample for the study.

“This new research shows that gay consumers offer a significant new market opportunity for companies in a number of consumer categories that are currently hurting because of the UK credit crunch,” says Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now Consulting, who carried out the research for Millivres Prowler. “Brands looking to find smarter ways to allocate tight marketing budgets would do very well to assess the strategic opportunities delivered by the UK’s 3 million lesbian and gay consumers.”

“There is a preponderance of ’Double Income, No Kids’ households in the gay consumer market, and this market is still targeted by relatively fewer brands than the mainstream market, which makes it much easier to have a significant market impact with a relatively modest marketing spend. Spending marketing budget allocations to target gay consumers is not a political act. It is just smart business.”

Added Kim Watson, Media Director, MPG: “Among those seeing the potential of the gay market at the moment are housing associations, property developers and Diversity employers and also household brand names such Ford, HMV and Hence the real value of the market is no longer perceived as solely relevant to luxury lifestyle brands but also to everyday issues and products.”

The ’Out Now 2008 Millivres Gay Market Study’ revealed the following values for total annual spend by gay consumers on various product categories.

Key expenditure totals reveal that last year gay consumers in the UK spent a large amount on many consumer product categories (all figures are billions of pounds spent per annum, unless otherwise indicated).

* Dining out £5.8bn

* Beer and spirits £3.4bn

* Clothes £3.2bn

* Electronics/computers £3.0bn

* Home furnishings £2.9bn

* Bottled wine £2.2bn

* Mobile phone bills £1.8bn

* Takeaway food £1.8bn

* Footwear £1.6bn

* Fragrance/toiletries £1.2bn

* DVDs £1.2bn

* Home phone bills £1.1bn

* CDs £1.1bn

* Hairdressing £1.1bn

* Books £1.1bn

* Champagne £1.0bn

* Concert tickets £1.0bn

* Skincare products £930 million

* Designer underwear £904 million

* Hair-styling products £701 million

* Grooming, facials, waxing £607 million

* Alternative health £486 million

* Music downloads £401 million

A full copy of the research study is available for purchase from Out Now.

For further information on this release, please contact Ian Johnson or David Drury - contact details below.
Notes to editors:

For copyright reasons, any reference to this information must include the following research reference: “Out Now 2008 Millivres Gay Market Study”.

More information is available at

Sample size is 1231 respondents, comprised of lesbians and gay men, drawn from across the UK between September 2007 and January 2008 with respondents from amongst six samples: the three leading gay print UK media products: DIVA, GT, Pink Paper; and their three leading online sites.

6% of UK adults are believed to be lesbian or gay. Source: Out Now Consulting, 1994 and 2005. Whitehall, 2005. Extrapolations use National Statistics (UK) data to estimate the total gay and lesbian population as 2,945,160 people aged 16 and above, being 6% of adults in the UK total population of 60,600,000 - and assume sample results to be representative of UK gay population totals. Actual figures can vary. Lesbians and gay men are calculated to occur in equal proportions in the population.

About DIVA, GT and Pink Paper

GT (formerly Gay Times) is Europe’s best-selling gay monthly magazine, and has been in print since 1984.

DIVA, Europe’s leading lesbian glossy magazine has been in circulation since 1994.
Pink Paper is Britain’s only free national lesbian and gay newspaper, reaching an affluent readership of gay and lesbian professionals, young people and students. It is distributed to more than 500 venues nationwide.

The publisher of GT, Pink Paper and DIVA -- Millivres Prowler Group (MPG), was established more than 30 years ago and is Europe’s largest gay and lesbian company.

About Out Now

Out Now Consulting is a market leader in gay marketing research and strategy. Established in 1992, the firm is a global gay market agency relied upon by a wide range of clients.

Out Now undertakes research for gay media and mainstream companies around the world. Services include market research, training, advertising, public relations and marketing strategy development. Out Now clients include Barclays Bank, IBM, Toyota, German National Tourist Office, Qantas Airways, Visit Britain, Lufthansa, South African Tourism and Citibank.

For further information contact:

Ian Johnson, CEO, Out Now Consulting
UK landline: +44-(0)20-8123 5288
BE mobile/cell: +32-(0)4737 60886
Email: info (at)

David Drury, Millivres Prowler Group

UK landline: +44-(0)20 7424 7462

Email: david.drury (at)




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