Update Your Jargon Dictionary! Many Aunts Are Now ‘PANKs’

Professional aunts, no kids. They're a thing and marketers want them.

PANK — Professional aunt, no kids. Apparently, this is the target market for the holiday.

The word is the creation of Melanie Notkin, aka The Savvy Auntie. She partnered with Weber Shandwick and KRC Research on a study which found that 1 in 5 women is a PANK. That’s 23 million American women who are willing to spend $9 billion per year on the special kids in their lives. They’re 36 years old on average, more than half (52 percent) are single and have never been married, and just about a third of them make $50K or more per year. They’re hooked up on social media and work full-time.

Sisters are doing it for themselves. And companies want all those lovely ladies to spend that auntie money with them this year.

Best Buy is already on it, and they brought a very cool messenger in the person of Maya Rudolph.

The International Business Times says PANKs will be traveling extensively with their nieces and nephews.

More than anything, this new target is reflective of a larger shift in society — professional women who are waiting longer to get married and have children, and therefore have more disposable income. The PANK who wrote this New York magazine article bought a designer onesie for her nephew-to-be. Because you can’t bring a baby to brunch who’s rocking last season’s fashions.

For some time now, we’ve talked about women (mothers really) as the CFO of the home. The people in charge of purchases like groceries and appliances. Now we’re talking about women who probably eat out a little more, spend a little more on themselves because they don’t need to buy clothes and school supplies for their own kids, and travel to places that don’t have people dressed in cartoon costumes. (Unless it’s one of those PANK trips the IBT was talking about.)

It is important to acknowledge that times are changing and reaching different groups will require a different perspective. But please. These ridiculous terms need to go away. No one wants to be called a PANK, even if the group you’re describing is pretty awesome.

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