Gay Consumer Study Released

Sun. July 11, 2004 12:00 AM

4th annual survey finds that more than half of gay consumers are partnered

Syracuse, NY - How does a mainstream American company tap into the gay market? Just what is the gay "lifestyle?" Does it conjure up visions of a people immersed in fashion, travel, entertainment and art, or a life woven around relationships, family, religion, mortgages and children?

OpusComm Group, a leading gay/lesbian consumer marketing firm, together with Syracuse University, announced the launch of the 2004 Gay and Lesbian Consumer Online Census (G/L Census). The annual Internet study of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (GLBT) consumers takes place July 12 - August 13, 2004. GLBT consumers ages 18+ interested in participating in the study - which measures the demographics, purchasing behaviors, life situations and media usage of GLBT consumers ? are invited to log on to

The G/L Census is conducted through a partnership between the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University, with Professor Amy Falkner as the lead researcher on the project, and OpusComm Group, Inc. The only survey of its kind to be sanctioned by a university and the most comprehensive study of gay and lesbian consumers in the U.S., the G/L Census is used by Fortune 1000 marketers and media companies as a tool for developing products and marketing tailored to GLBT consumers nationally. The 2003 G/L Census had approximately 8,000 respondents.

"We created the G/L Census four years ago for one reason: GLBT people want to be heard. That is why the theme of our survey is "Stand Up and be Counted!," said Jeffrey Garber, president of OpusComm Group, Inc. and a cofounder of the G/L Census. "The GLBT community is better targeted and better served when the people behind the campaigns - be they politicians, media or business ? know their audience."

The G/L Census receives thousands of comments and suggestions from respondents - mostly notes of thanks and praise for the study. "Consistently, this study breaks down stereotypes and informs corporate America about the power of the GLBT consumer," said Mr. Garber. "We anticipate thousands of GLBT consumers will participate in the 2004 survey."

Conducted by researchers adhering to industry-accepted privacy guidelines, the Internet provides a uniquely anonymous vehicle for sharing attitudes and opinions among the GLBT consumer group. Email addresses are only collected if the respondent wishes to receive a summary of study results, and the G/L Census does not sell or publish the addresses - adding another layer of security to the survey.

"Anonymity is an essential requirement when carrying out a study of the gay and lesbian community, which is why the G/L Census uses online surveys as its research tool," said Mr. Garber. "The Internet gives a high level of security and anonymity, making respondents feel comfortable and open."

In March 2004, OpusComm Group announced an alliance with Scarborough Research, a leading provider of consumer shopping, media and lifestyle information. Through the partnership, Scarborough has added the G/L Census to its arsenal of consumer information, which is used by a client base consisting of over 3,500 marketers and media professionals. This move underscored Scarborough’s commitment to multicultural marketing and also demonstrated the need for GLBT information in today’s marketplace.

The 2004 Gay and Lesbian Consumer Online Census is sponsored by Rivendell Media, America’s leading gay and lesbian media placement firm. Helping marketers reach the gay press since 1979, Rivendell is the national advertising representative for over 200 gay and lesbian newspapers, magazines and entertainment guides.

2003 G/L Census Highlights
The 2003 G/L Census reported that marriage and family are important concerns for gay consumers. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they were partnered in the study; four percent said they are in a civil union, are civilly registered or had a same-sex marriage ceremony. Thirty-five percent of gay consumers have a will, according to the study. Gay consumers are coming out at an earlier age - 16 percent of respondents said they came out between the ages of 12-17 and 45 percent between the ages of 18-24.

When it comes to marketing and fostering brand loyalty among gay consumers, the G/L Census finds that advertisers who choose to use gay themes realize increased brand awareness and brand loyalty. Eighty-seven percent of respondents reported they remember ads with gay themes versus those with non-gay themes. Sixty-five percent of gays and lesbians say they are more likely to purchase products or services whose advertising uses gay themes than those whose advertising does not, according to the G/L Census.

The demographics of gay/lesbian consumers paint a picture of a high-income, highly-educated consumer. According to the G/L Census, 37 percent of gay/lesbian consumers are college graduates and one-fifth have graduate degrees. Twenty-seven percent have an annual household income of $100,000 or more. The Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census finds that 48 percent of gay/lesbian consumers have investments, and 53 percent own their home. Technologically savvy, 31 percent have a broadband Internet connection in the home, 52 percent of gay/lesbian Internet users made an online purchase at least once a month during the past year, and 30 percent of these Internet consumers spent $50-$99 per online purchase, according to the G/L Census
Charts and graphs highlighting 2003 G/L Census findings are available upon request.

About the Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census The Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census (G/L Census) is conducted annually via a partnership between OpusComm Group, Inc. and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Professor Amy Falkner is the lead researcher on the project. With approximately 8,000 respondents, the G/L Census is the largest and most comprehensive gay/lesbian consumer and media study and the only one sponsored by a major university. It addresses many consumer categories including demographics, purchasing behaviors, lifestyles and media usage. For more information please log on to

About OpusComm Group
OpusComm Group Inc., the founder of the annual Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census, is led by co-principals, Jeffrey Garber and Daniel Fedrizzi, who have been providing effective marketing, public relations and advertising to Fortune 1000 marketers for almost 20 years. As one of the world's leading researchers in gay/lesbian consumerism, OpusComm provides consulting services and market plan development for businesses seeking to target the gay/lesbian community in the mainstream media. For more information please log on to

About Scarborough Research
Scarborough Research is a leader in identifying local, regional and national shopping patterns and media usage for the American consumer. Scarborough provides data solutions and media strategies for today’s complex marketing challenges. Scarborough’s 3,500+ subscribers rely on the company’s data to acquire and retain customers, extend brand reach, increase sales and expand into new markets. Surveying more than 200,000 adults annually, Scarborough measures adult consumers in the local markets where they live. Scarborough Research is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. and VNU Media Measurement & Information. For additional information, please log on to For further information, contact Jeffrey Garber, President of OpusComm Group, Inc., call 315.637.2018, or visit