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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More analysis less emotion

Sorry if I keep moaning on about the way the media keeps reporting the recession in terms of age cohorts. It was disappointing to read this article in the Wall Street Journal since it has fallen into the same trap.

Many of the arguments it makes have a large element of truth, but they are a one-sided and 'emotional' stating of the case. Take the opening sentence for instance.
Baby Boomers have pumped up the global economy with their profligate ways for nearly two decades. It's been a great party. Now the music's over.
Are we really saying that a whole generation was squandering, excessively extravagant; wanton, licentious; promiscuous or depraved (using the US dictionary definition of profligate).

Of all professions, I am amazed that the media has suddenly developed this puritan attitude to consumer spending.

A couple of sentences further on it says
What Baby Boomers of all persuasions have done, without dispute and to an unprecedented degree, is spend money instead of saving it. During the 1990s, Baby Boomers accounted for about half of all consumer spending in the U.S., according to a recent McKinsey Global Institute study.
Yep, that is true. Isn't it strange how most marketers didn’t recognise the fact at the time and pay them more attention. But all generations, with the exception of the 70+, have spent more than they saved.

And so the article goes on. In so much of the writing these days I detect a large dose of Schadenfreude.

Marketers need a well reasoned analysis of how the recession will (is) impacting their markets. So let’s cut out the emotional stuff and concentrate more on hard analysis.

If you are going to read the article I would do it soon since the WSJ will probably move it into the paid content section. Dick Stroud

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