Search Ends for Missing Yuppies

  • by January 8, 2001
They do exist and they do read.

For most of the last two decades the newspaper industry - and to a lesser extent the broadcast industry - has conducted an ongoing search for yuppies.

They knew they were out there but survey after frustrating survey showed they didn't read newspapers like everyone else and they spent little, if any, time on television news programs.

And the absence of these college educated 21- 34 year-olds with their loose-with-a-dollar lifestyles and bright financial futures was a serious matter. They are as essential to the newspaper/advertising industry as they are to current social security recipients.

But, all is well. The Media Audit, a 30-year-old media rating service, has found the missing yuppies. They are logged on and reading local dot-com newspapers and other high news content websites.

The Media Audit (TMA) conducts continuing surveys of local media websites in more than 80 US markets and in almost all of those markets the elusive yuppies have been found reading the local newspaper online, and they are also logging onto local television websites.

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According to Bob Jordan, Co-chairman of the The Media Audit, the recently-found yuppies are much like their predecessors, but perhaps a bit better off. Fifty-seven percent are single, all of them have college degrees, and 60% have annual household incomes in excess of $50,000. Thirty-two percent are in the $75,000 bracket, and an amazing 13% have household incomes that exceed $100,000 per year. In other words, they can indulge their buying impulses for things like cars, clothes and all things cool.

They are smart enough to know that they aren't too young to be saving and planning for retirement. Fifty-two percent have a savings account, 38% have an IRA or Keogh Account, 25% a CD and 15% have liquid assets of $100,000 or more (i.e. assets that can be readily converted to cash).

Luxury cars are a hot item with yuppies. But American luxury brands don't index well with these young upscale adults. Cadillac and Lincoln index poorly with a market index of 40, which means yuppies are 60% below average in buying these two luxury cars. On the other hand, Acura's market index with yuppies is 203 or 103% above the market average in their probability of buying an Acura. Other luxury brands that index well with yuppies: BMW with an index of 191, Infinity with an index 168 and Lexus with an index of 144.

Yuppies are on the go a lot. They only account for 6% of the adult population, but they accounted for 14% of all of the adults who made six or more airline trips to cities within the U.S. last year and 11% of those who made two or more international trips.

It's easy to see why media, especially newspapers and television, would want to reach this affluent market segment. It is a group that advertisers want to win over to their stores and branded merchandise but also a group that is less likely to be regular readers of newspapers and/or viewers of te

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