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Ecclestone sees ‘no point’ in F1 targeting youth audience
Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed suggestions that the global motor racing series should do more to embrace a younger generation of fans by stating they are the wrong target market for the sport’s commercial partners.
In a comprehensive interview with the Campaign Asia-Pacific magazine, Ecclestone suggested that any attempt to combat declining television audiences by engaging more proactively with social media would not work.
While the presentation of Formula One has come in for criticism for a number of years, Ecclestone sees little value in the young generation stating “I'm not interested in tweeting, Facebook and whatever this nonsense is.
“I tried to find out but in any case I'm too old-fashioned. I couldn't see any value in it. And, I don't know what the so-called 'young generation' of today really wants. What is it? The challenge is getting the audience in the first place.”
In frank but potentially damaging comments reminiscent of those Gerald Ratner, former Chairman of the UK jewellery chain Ratners, who infamously once described his company's product as "crap", Ecclestone dismissed the value of attracting a young audience.
He added “if you have a brand that you want to put in front of a few hundred million people, I can do that easily for you on television.
"Now, you're telling me I need to find a channel to get this 15-year-old to watch Formula One because somebody wants to put out a new brand in front of them? They are not going to be interested in the slightest bit.
“Young kids will see the Rolex brand, but are they going to go and buy one? They can't afford it. Or our other sponsor, UBS - these kids don't care about banking. They haven't got enough money to put in the bloody banks anyway.
"That's what I think. I don't know why people want to get to the so-called 'young generation'. Why do they want to do that? Is it to sell them something? Most of these kids haven't got any money.
“I'd rather get to the 70-year-old guy who's got plenty of cash. So, there's no point trying to reach these kids because they won't buy any of the products here and if marketers are aiming at this audience, then maybe they should advertise with Disney.”
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