Moonves: Stop Talking Upscale 18-34 Year Olds!

Categories: TV Advertising,TV Business

Written By

March 17th, 2008

Les Moonves In a post by TVWatch's Wayne Friedman today, CBS's Les Moonves wants TV marketers to stop pestering him about upscale young adults aged 18-34 making >$75,000 annually. Les says "There are no upscale 18- to 34-year-olds — except my children." Of course, you could chalk that up to rationalization [We don't get that demo, because they don't exist! Next question!], but in this case, we have data that can shed some light on Moonves' claim.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't tabulate data that exactly matches, but using what's available there are:

However, if Les' kids are counted in his household, they're not in those groups (and I can't quite figure out how to tease those numbers from the BLS data). I'd guess there may be a significant group of 18-34 year olds that are part of their parent's households where there is significant family income. I'll keep looking for that data.

 
  • Patrick

    Les is right.
    This idea that young people have all the money to spend is hogwash.
    The free-spending Baby Boomers are beginning to retire. They are inheriting trillions of $$$ from their frugal WWII-generation parents.
    If networks try to cater to the Facebook generation they will continue to bleed viewers.
    Advertisers are trying to get a free ride by claiming to only be interested in 18-34.

  • Patrick

    Les is right.
    This idea that young people have all the money to spend is hogwash.
    The free-spending Baby Boomers are beginning to retire. They are inheriting trillions of $$$ from their frugal WWII-generation parents.
    If networks try to cater to the Facebook generation they will continue to bleed viewers.
    Advertisers are trying to get a free ride by claiming to only be interested in 18-34.

  • Patrick

    Les is right.
    This idea that young people have all the money to spend is hogwash.
    The free-spending Baby Boomers are beginning to retire. They are inheriting trillions of $$$ from their frugal WWII-generation parents.
    If networks try to cater to the Facebook generation they will continue to bleed viewers.
    Advertisers are trying to get a free ride by claiming to only be interested in 18-34.

  • Patrick

    Les is right.
    This idea that young people have all the money to spend is hogwash.
    The free-spending Baby Boomers are beginning to retire. They are inheriting trillions of $$$ from their frugal WWII-generation parents.
    If networks try to cater to the Facebook generation they will continue to bleed viewers.
    Advertisers are trying to get a free ride by claiming to only be interested in 18-34.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    if Les is right, he’s going to have to completely revolutionize the advertising industry. I doubt he’s up for that really.

    I think he’ll do what he’s doing right now. Continue to harp on the 25-54 demo (even though the vast majority of CBS’ viewers on any given night are 55+!).

    So much of adveritising is Beer and Soda and Ford and Chevy trucks. Speaking for myself as a 45 year old man, my beer and soda purchases can not be swayed by advertsing and I will also not be purchashing a vehicle based on advertising. Focus on the 18-34 makes sense, they’re not as set in their purchasing decisions.

    Focusing on 25-54 makes sense for CBS because they can still count a lot of people in this group. Even if more of them are my age or older than 25-44. Advertisers don’t want the boomers for most of the products that are advertised. I’m not saying that the boomers aren’t a lucrative market and that it shouldn’t be capitlized on — only that this isn’t happening, not even at CBS.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    if Les is right, he’s going to have to completely revolutionize the advertising industry. I doubt he’s up for that really.

    I think he’ll do what he’s doing right now. Continue to harp on the 25-54 demo (even though the vast majority of CBS’ viewers on any given night are 55+!).

    So much of adveritising is Beer and Soda and Ford and Chevy trucks. Speaking for myself as a 45 year old man, my beer and soda purchases can not be swayed by advertsing and I will also not be purchashing a vehicle based on advertising. Focus on the 18-34 makes sense, they’re not as set in their purchasing decisions.

    Focusing on 25-54 makes sense for CBS because they can still count a lot of people in this group. Even if more of them are my age or older than 25-44. Advertisers don’t want the boomers for most of the products that are advertised. I’m not saying that the boomers aren’t a lucrative market and that it shouldn’t be capitlized on — only that this isn’t happening, not even at CBS.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    if Les is right, he’s going to have to completely revolutionize the advertising industry. I doubt he’s up for that really.

    I think he’ll do what he’s doing right now. Continue to harp on the 25-54 demo (even though the vast majority of CBS’ viewers on any given night are 55+!).

    So much of adveritising is Beer and Soda and Ford and Chevy trucks. Speaking for myself as a 45 year old man, my beer and soda purchases can not be swayed by advertsing and I will also not be purchashing a vehicle based on advertising. Focus on the 18-34 makes sense, they’re not as set in their purchasing decisions.

    Focusing on 25-54 makes sense for CBS because they can still count a lot of people in this group. Even if more of them are my age or older than 25-44. Advertisers don’t want the boomers for most of the products that are advertised. I’m not saying that the boomers aren’t a lucrative market and that it shouldn’t be capitlized on — only that this isn’t happening, not even at CBS.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    if Les is right, he’s going to have to completely revolutionize the advertising industry. I doubt he’s up for that really.

    I think he’ll do what he’s doing right now. Continue to harp on the 25-54 demo (even though the vast majority of CBS’ viewers on any given night are 55+!).

    So much of adveritising is Beer and Soda and Ford and Chevy trucks. Speaking for myself as a 45 year old man, my beer and soda purchases can not be swayed by advertsing and I will also not be purchashing a vehicle based on advertising. Focus on the 18-34 makes sense, they’re not as set in their purchasing decisions.

    Focusing on 25-54 makes sense for CBS because they can still count a lot of people in this group. Even if more of them are my age or older than 25-44. Advertisers don’t want the boomers for most of the products that are advertised. I’m not saying that the boomers aren’t a lucrative market and that it shouldn’t be capitlized on — only that this isn’t happening, not even at CBS.

  • KIC

    I sure as heck was living hand to mouth until around 34 at least.

  • KIC

    I sure as heck was living hand to mouth until around 34 at least.

  • KIC

    I sure as heck was living hand to mouth until around 34 at least.

  • KIC

    I sure as heck was living hand to mouth until around 34 at least.

  • Danielle

    I’m 23 and make enough to pay my bills and not much more so I don’t think they’ll be looking for me! LOL.

  • Danielle

    I’m 23 and make enough to pay my bills and not much more so I don’t think they’ll be looking for me! LOL.

  • Danielle

    I’m 23 and make enough to pay my bills and not much more so I don’t think they’ll be looking for me! LOL.

  • Danielle

    I’m 23 and make enough to pay my bills and not much more so I don’t think they’ll be looking for me! LOL.

  • frankj

    Well I am the demographic Les says doesn’t exist, but unfortunately I think he’s got a bigger problem on his hands than not finding people who can afford to buy the advertised products. As far as I’m concerned the networks haven’t put much on TV that’s WORTH my time in the first place. And I know plenty of people in his non-existant demographic who feel the same way. Mostly because of reality TV. But also because the networks expect people to get invested in shows immediately and never give them a chance to get going.

    FOX is the worst at this. They’ve done more to drive me away from television than any other network. Nobody I know trusts them to keep a good show on the air. I almost didn’t watch Sarah Connor because it was on FOX. Why bother if they’re just going to cancel it? They can thank Summer as the reason I tuned in for the premier at all.

  • frankj

    Well I am the demographic Les says doesn’t exist, but unfortunately I think he’s got a bigger problem on his hands than not finding people who can afford to buy the advertised products. As far as I’m concerned the networks haven’t put much on TV that’s WORTH my time in the first place. And I know plenty of people in his non-existant demographic who feel the same way. Mostly because of reality TV. But also because the networks expect people to get invested in shows immediately and never give them a chance to get going.

    FOX is the worst at this. They’ve done more to drive me away from television than any other network. Nobody I know trusts them to keep a good show on the air. I almost didn’t watch Sarah Connor because it was on FOX. Why bother if they’re just going to cancel it? They can thank Summer as the reason I tuned in for the premier at all.

  • http://spycomics.com Rick Spy

    I’m 51, so not in the demo being talked about, but I want to agree with previous poster Frankj about networks, and especially FOX helping drive away viewers and his reasoning behind it. And, I agree about Sarah Connor. I almost didn’t watch it as well because I don’t trust FOX and only tuned in because of Summer Glau. But, look at this site’s post strike up date and FOX listings. What do they have next to Sarah Connor…future uncertain. What a surprise.

  • http://spycomics.com Rick Spy

    I’m 51, so not in the demo being talked about, but I want to agree with previous poster Frankj about networks, and especially FOX helping drive away viewers and his reasoning behind it. And, I agree about Sarah Connor. I almost didn’t watch it as well because I don’t trust FOX and only tuned in because of Summer Glau. But, look at this site’s post strike up date and FOX listings. What do they have next to Sarah Connor…future uncertain. What a surprise.

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