Upscale Consumers Set To Spend

Networks able to demonstrate an upscale audience would appear to be in a strong position to keep ad dollars flowing, even if there is a general market slowdown. Complementing a New York Times piece not long ago, a new survey shows the 1% -- a term that is quickly entering the zeitgeist and needs no explanation – don’t seem to be cutting spending.

To be sure, it does not appear to be 2007. The increase in holiday spending this year is projected to be up just 2% among the affluent, according to new research. And just 51% indicated the economy won’t affect spending plans.

But with a significant 49% wavering at the least, it will be interesting whether a new normal has emerged, where even the well-off have been shaken enough over the past few years to rein things in when (if) the recession passes by.

Forbes Insights reports that affluent consumers plan on increasing holiday spending by 2% over last year to about $1,850 -- where $1,100 would be for gifts.



($256 is expected to go to decorations and “seasonal foods,” begging the question how much of the remaining $494 will go towards alcohol.)

Using data from October, Forbes Insights found the average American plans to spend $630 on holiday gifts, while affluent consumers plan to spend 75% more. (Affluent consumers are tabbed as those with household incomes of $100,000-plus.)

A plus for upscale networks is Forbes found the trend of earlier holiday shopping should continue, giving them more weeks of holiday-themed and sale-oriented ads.

Forbes found that 65% of affluent individuals plan to do holiday shopping before December and 50% to do so online.

One of the key gauges about marketers’ confidence in the health of spending by the higher-income homes will be whether the Lexus December to Remember spots appear earlier than usual.



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