A survey of tens of thousands of gay people conducted by an American marketing company has revealed new information about the spending patterns of gay and lesbian consumers in the US.

85% of both gay men and lesbians said that advertising in gay media favourably influences their decision to purchase products or do business with a company.

The survey, the largest of its type ever, includes psychographic and demographic information based on a America-wide survey of more than 12,000 gay men and more than 10,000 lesbians.

89% of gay men and 92% of lesbians reported that the way a company treats its gay and lesbian employees impacts their decision to do business with that company, with the majority (52% and 59% respectively) saying this was strongly positive.

88% of gay men and 91% of lesbians report that their purchasing decisions are favourably influenced by corporate sponsorship of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) events and participation in LGBT charities.

On a lighter note, 61% of gay men and 83% of lesbians have a pet.

38% of gay men and 59% of lesbians have dogs, 28% of gay men and 51% of lesbians have cats.

Officially released today, Community Marketing’s 2007 Gay Consumer Index and 2007 Lesbian Consumer Index reports claim to provide the most comprehensive collection of gay and lesbian consumer data to date.

“Our community has risen to the forefront among corporate marketing executives in recent years, but most campaigns have relied on a ‘shotgun’ approach to reaching various segments,” said Tom Roth, president of Community Marketing, Inc.

“This is mainly because in-depth cross sections of gay and lesbian consumer data have not been available.

“These indices are a comprehensive and truly representative statistical picture of gay and lesbian consumers.”

Survey participants were solicited through over 75 widely distributed internet and print publications, including The Advocate, OUT, Instinct, Curve Magazine, Gay.com, PlanetOut.com and GayWired.com.

The survey was conducted online over a period of one month between April and May this year.

The survey can only give a partial snapshot of gay America, as participants would be those who are out, in a high enough economic bracket to read glossy consumer magazines and have access to the internet.

CMI Senior Research Director and survey architect Jerry McHugh notes that marketers who in the past have actively targeted the LGBT community most likely have only been reaching gay men, or half the market, with their campaigns and communications.

“Marketers and advertisers haven’t had the tools to understand that there is no single LGBT community in terms of consumer statistics.

“It is a diverse melting pot of people who cannot be reached with one type of campaign or communications channel for any targeted communications efforts from advertising to sponsorships,” said McHugh.

Gay men and lesbian survey respondents worked in a diverse variety of careers, although both groups cited the same top two career fields: medical and education.

Medical work was at the top of the list with 8% of gay men and 15% of lesbians.

Second was education (6% and 9%, respectively) and third was accounting or finance for gay men (6%) and legal or government sector for lesbians (7%).

With regard to family life, 46% of gay men and 65% of lesbians are partnered or live with a significant other.

While 20% of lesbians have children under the age of 18 living at home, the statistic for gay men is much lower at 5%.

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From April 13 to May 16, 2007, Community Marketing, Inc. conducted an online survey of lesbian and gay adults.

This survey comprehensively and effectively represents a broad spectrum of LGBT consumers in all parts of the USA.

With a sample size of more than 10,000 for each Index, the margin of error is plus or minus 1% at a 95% confidence interval.