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As Women Watch World Cup in Record Numbers, Advertisers Miss Out

  • Reuters, Tuesday, June 27, 2006 3:23 PM
Apparently, women are watching the World Cup in record-breaking numbers, which is great for the game. The big losers are advertisers, Reuters UK says, who definitely geared their advertising for predominantly male audiences. "It's a new phenomenon, which has been undervalued and underestimated," said Maurice Levy, chief executive of Publicis Groupe, the world's fourth-largest advertising and marketing holding company. "We've certainly missed an opportunity." How big a missed opportunity? Reuters data shows that 39 percent of television viewers around the globe are women, the same percentage as the entire 2002 tournament, and that figure is expected to rise by the time the champion is crowned on July 9, analysts say. Kevin Alavy, the analyst who compiled the Reuters data, says more women tend to watch the later matches. To be sure, media buyers bought TV spots with the lads in mind: in the UK World Cup ads are littered with consumer goods like beer, cars, and electronics. As ever, the creative features the usual: men playing sports, bikin-clad women, and bawdy humor. Analysts estimate that about $1 billion has been spent on advertising during the tournament. Ads for women often portrayed them as sufferers during the month long tournament. For example, easyJet, a British low-cost airline promoted women-only getaways during the World Cup.

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