What is All this Ado About?

Contemporary Lebanese advertising has notably focused on a narrow age range: that of the pristine youth between 15 and 30 years of age (Kamel, 2012). Instead of embracing the diversity of their society, advertisers indeed prefer to associate esthetic body images to their products in order to appeal to their target audience (Greco, 1989).

It is no surprise then, that the elderly are conspicuously underrepresented from Lebanese commercials. According to Grantz and his fellow researchers (1980), an elderly individual is any person who has “extensive gray hair, extensive wrinkling of the skin around the face and/or hands”, and may use ambulatory aids like canes or wheelchairs. Such characteristics do not comply with modern physical beauty standards.

Although no television commercial (or TVC) dating from 2008 that targets older adults could be found; the latter were used in advertisements to promote certain products and services, such as food and banking offers. This blog aims at demonstrating how the Lebanese elders are negatively portrayed in such TVCs. In effect, commercials tend to silence and incapacitate the seniors by depicting them as unproductive and dependent on their relatives, in addition to being detached from the present.

Do you think elders are generally discriminated against in Lebanese media?

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