In recent years, researchers studying generational differences have focused on the media and market behavior of millennials and Generation Z (young people generally born between the late 1990s and early 2000s). Two in particular— a) Younger cohorts do not care about privacy, and b) Younger cohorts are averse to advertising —“might be misinforming strategic marketing and advertising decisions,” ARF President & CEO Scott C. McDonald, states in the Journal of Advertising Research (Vol. 58, Issue 1).
The reason relates to the way in which research on the topic has been conducted: few longitudinal studies have been done regarding attitudes on these topics. Therefore, the claimed differences may be due to these younger generations’ stage of life, not an attitudinal shift, underscoring the importance of proper research techniques.
SCOTT C. McDONALD is ARF President and CEO. He has held senior positions in research, including at Condé Nast and Time Warner, and for 18 years taught on Columbia University’s business faculty.