On 20 November 2013, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) is hosting a joint roundtable breakfast briefing with the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) in London, titled How to overcome barriers to effective communication with older people.

Representatives from Age UK, Which? and the Stand Agency will follow up on some of the findings in the ILC-UK’s paper Golden Economy: The Consumer Marketplace in an Ageing Society, which was published in October 2010. The paper highlights how technical jargon, unclear instructions, bad language, misleading and dishonest information and lack of clarity are barriers that can and do change attitudes, perceptions and the desire to buy products or use services for the older generation.

The breakfast briefing will discuss the importance of imagery, language, accuracy and clarity for the older generation and the challenges in editing, marketing and writing for this demographic.More importantly the image of the older generation portrayed in the media is often alarming; for example, ageist writing and headlines such as the recent Daily Mail story on the Rolling Stones. Also, what do we call this generation: older people, golden agers, senior citizens etc.?

The ILC-UK is the leading think tank on longevity and demographic change. It is an independent, nonpartisan group dedicated to addressing issues of longevity, ageing and population change. It develops ideas, undertakes research and creates a forum for debate.

The SfEP is the leading professional organisation based in the UK for editors and proofreaders – the people who strive to make text accurate and readable. The SfEP is very interested in the work of the ILC-UK because it relates to the society’s aim to uphold editorial excellence, and communications, writing, phraseology and terminology are all very important to the society. The outcomes from the briefing will be published and followed up.

For more information visit, or contact Lillian Avon, development manager,


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