Study To Assess LGBT Market In Latin America, Europe

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The largest-ever market-research study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in 14 countries in Latin America and Europe is set to launch.

The study, by Holland-based marketing firm Out Now Global, which numbers IBM, Toyota, Citibank and Merck among clients, is also the first-ever such study in Latin America. The Web-based survey will range from Mexico to Israel to Sweden and will represent 6% of the total population of Latin America and Europe, or some 35 million LGBT people, per the firm.

The 2010 Out Now Global LGBT Market Study -- covering Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom -- will look at parameters such as consumer habits, incomes, education levels, media usage, parenting, relationships, travel, employment, discrimination, equality concerns, and aspirations.



Study sponsors are travel and tourism companies, and organizations include, for the European arm, Germany's national tourism office; Berlin Tourism Marketing; and the city of Helsinki, Finland. Delta Air Lines is one of the sponsors of the study's Latin American portion, which Out Now Global is doing in collaboration with Latin American LGBT networking organization GNetwork360.

Ian Johnson, Out Now Global's founder and CEO, says that while there have been a plethora of LGBT market-research studies done in the U.S. and Canada, "you've had nothing south of the Texas border," pointing out that the firm, which started in Australia, has done piecemeal studies in Europe, but the idea to create a global study came in July when he was invited to speak in Buenos Aires at an event for GNetwork360.

"I got to know them; I respected the way they operated, and a comment was made during a presentation that one of the things they lacked in Latin America was research. I thought, 'I'm here, I like these guys, we talked and basically sketched the idea on the back of an envelope and announced it at the conference."

Johnson says the study was expanded just this week to comprise seven Latin American countries. In Europe, the study includes five of the largest economies. He says that even though the survey will be a complex exercise, particularly in Latin American regions where Internet access is not a given, "it's a golden opportunity to learn so much about a group of people who have never been assessed, not just about consumer behavior, but on issues around violence, harassment, discrimination in the workplace, and how open they are with friends and families."

The estimated response pool will be as many as 14,000 across all countries, per Johnson. "We are mindful of the need for statistical validity even in smaller countries so where sample sizes are small statistically, we will apply additional efforts to reach out," he says.

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