Utah was home to more than 2.2 million people in 2000, according to the U.S. Census that year. Of those, more than 333,000, or almost 15 percent, were 55 years old or older.

But unless they are selling pharmaceuticals, companies in Utah and nationwide are largely ignoring the potential of marketing to this large — and usually affluent — segment of the population.

Now that may be about to change.

According to an article on Page M7 of today's Money section, businesses are starting to wake up to the fact that Americans age 50 and over control $7 trillion, or 70 percent, of all U.S. wealth.

Those same aging baby boomers bring in $2 trillion in annual income and account for 50 percent of all discretionary spending.

Such statistics have yet to reach some companies. But AARP, the largest group representing older Americans, is trying to change that. It is running an ad campaign about the topic. At age 50, according to the ads' kicker line, "These days, doctors don't pronounce you dead. Marketers do."