The Portrayal of Successful Ageing in British Prime-Time TV Advertisements: A Concern for the Healthcare Sector?

Dennis A. Olsen


Stereotypes conveyed by the media influence both the self-perception and behaviour of people, and may have implications for treatment and healthcare outcomes of older patients. To identify prevailing stereotypes about old age and to investigate the presentation of successful ageing, 6228 commercials aired during UK prime-time TV in September 2020 were analysed using a media content analysis. The findings indicate that the mediated ideas of growing and being old largely align with the concept of successful ageing. However, aspects of persistent ageism are also identified, which affect particularly the oldest members of society and ethnic minorities. Armed with this knowledge, proactive steps should be taken to influence stereotyping of older people, in order to better embrace equity, diversity and inclusion for both age and ethnic background.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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