Why older Mums don't need to be reminded by personalised Ads that we're getting older

“Lose weight now! Secret formula dieticians love to hate!”

The personalised advert said one morning on the right hand side of my personal Facebook profile wall. It appeared just after my 49th birthday earlier this year. And then, the blizzard of personalised advertising targeted at the almost 50 something woman started to come thick and fast.

Well thanks so much for reminding me about my middle aged spread.  I know I’ve put on weight, and I’m actually doing something about it for the sake of my health, not because you guys tell me that I’m getting fat now I’m going through the post-reproductive stage.

“Single dating for mature adults only over 49s need apply”

Yes I know I am a divorced sole parent still raising my last two children at home, but no thanks I don’t need another complicated problem called a relationship. After my marriage? Not a chance!

“The new wrinkle treatment perfected by a solo mother plastic surgeons hate her for it”

Okay, I’m not as young as I used to be. My back aches, I probably need to take care of my skin a bit better now I’m soon to turn 50 years old, but oh please do I really need to be reminded by that darned ad?

I am ‘sure’ the Plastic surgeons hate the made up solo mother figure for supposedly coming up with a non-surgical face treatment. So what horrendous price were you guys charging for this get rid of wrinkles fast again? Just $150 for a tiny pot of some strange mixture of chemicals and weeds you tossed in a blender, put in a 50c bottle than claimed it was ‘worth’ $300 ,but hey you’re selling it for a song at $150.

Not surprisingly, I’m not the only one that feels that targeted advertising on Facebook isn’t the done thing to do. Many of my friends have made their own comments about those personalised adverts blighting their walls with lose weight now, anti-wrinkle secrets, and dating ads for mature people.

The Pew Survey on targeted advertising published last year (9 March 2012)  68% of respondents said they were “Not OKAY” with having their on line behaviour tracked and analysed. 28% said they were okay.

68% said they were “not OK” with targeted ads since, as the response continued, “I don’t like having my online behavior tracked and analyzed”
28% said they were “OK” because “I see ads and get information about things I’m really interested in”  – Pew Survey

The demographic for age didn’t bring any surprise that the majority not liking the targeted ads were in the older age groups

In general, the older someone was, the less likely they were to agree with targeted ads. The exception was that those 65 and over dipped a little less on the negative scale compared to 50-64 year-olds. The percentage of those who said it wasn’t OK, by age group:
18-29: 59%
30-49: 65%
50-64: 78%
65+: 72%

Source: The Pew Survey 9 March 2012 (Pew Internet & American Life Project)
Pew Survey: 68% View Targeted Ads Negatively; 59% Have Noticed TargetingMar 9, 2012 at 10:00am ET by Danny Sullivan
I used to write real estate adverts for the company I formerly worked for as a property manager. Some of them were used as examples of good use of text, when marketing a property in the corporate marketing seminars for real estate agents. I don’t have a degree in marketing, so I won’t pretend that I do. But going on experience from how people responded to an advertising text tailored for that particular market and a straight out boring, uninteresting use of text to sell a property the use of words and images makes or breaks the product you’re trying to sell.

So please Facebook advertisers, don’t insult my intelligence by trying to tell me I’m fat, wrinkled and in need of a date (or a shag for that matter), because I’m a desperate, bored and lonely sole parent.

I’m just the opposite of that. I’m a happy, well adjusted, losing through a significant change in diet (on the advice of my specialist) my middle aged spread, soon to turn 50 single parent with two teenage girls and a daughter in her late 20s with a PhD in Psychology.

I’m slightly crazy, definitely unconventional and I don’t fit into the box quite right, and quite frankly I don’t care if I don’t fit into that box.

 My advice to all you women, who can’t stand those targeted ads coming your way. Use the Ad Block app extension. You’ll find it on google, just type in Ad Block and the type of browser you are using. Then you can enjoy your Facebook wall free of ads that tell you – you are getting old, fat, desperate and you eat too much chocolate.


  1. I never noticed the age-target for my FB ads. I don't even notice most of them. I see the 'miracle' ads and the one you mentioned about plastic surgeons hating her but, of course, I know it's a scam.

    I have always assumed that ads were meant to get you to buy a product. In my life (and I've passed the 60 mark, thank you very much!) I have only been moved by two tv ads. Neither of which I bought any time soon after the ad. Since ads are everywhere, I assume they work--just not on me.

    Thanks for the tip on blocking them. I will be doing that just because I can :)

  2. Thank you SO much for sharing the ad blocking tip. I will check into that. I get so tired of seeing wrinkle cream and those single guys over fifty on every page I open. :)

  3. Hi Betty and Danni. Oh I am so glad the Ad Blocker will help you both. Yes I think we are sick and tired of being told what we should have, do and say with those awful adverts.