Thursday, July 10, 2008

Boomers Skewered in the Washington Post

No wonder Boomers aren't happy these days. It's articles like this one in today's Washington Post pointing out how unhappy Boomers are that is doing it. To wit:

Perpetually restless, utterly mysterious and so very multitudinous -- 76 million -- that the rest of us are doomed to study them, analyze them, wave shiny objects around for them. ...It's all part of the frantic tap dance of figuring out how to raise boomers' tender and flagging happiness, when what we want to say is, BUCK UP ALREADY.

The reporter, Monica Hesse, according to one source, is a twentysomething up-and-comer at the Post. Her story is about the recent Pew Research study that concluded Boomers are gloomier than other generations. We have been thinking about offering up our take on the Pew findings, and will weigh in with a separate post.

Hesse had contacted us last week for a comment, but we didn't connect and she proceeded with her piece. She mentions our Boomer Consumer book -- not exactly in the best context, but we'll take the publicity.

We sent Hesse a note and told her to expect an outpouring of comments from Boomers -- mostly defensive, but also agreeing with her. The reason Boomers will respond is that they don't like being generalized and labeled. Labeling them "whiners," as Hesse does, will surely stir the pot.

Sure enough, take a look at the growing number and intensity of comments the article has generated. There are too many great ones to share here, so here's two:
What an astonishingly ageist article. It would have had more impact without the snark factor, Monica. The way you've written it, the one who comes off as immature is you.
And this one:
My, the writer seems to have "issues" with the Baby Boomers. I thought the whole point of true journalism was to at least try to keep your own attitudes out of your stories - otherwise, there is another venue. It's called an "editorial." Might I say, however, that if the writer's attitudes HAD to have been incorporated, it would have been much more efficient just to say "neener neener neener" and let it go at that. The stick-your-tongue-out immaturity would still have been conveyed.
Gotta love those Boomers. Quick to defend their turf. And predictable.

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Valuable Insights into the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Today's Baby Boomers

This blog is by the authors of Boomer Consumer: Ten New Rules for Marketing to America's Largest, Wealthiest and Most Influential Group, on sale now.

Here is where you'll find information referenced in the book, as well as updates, news and perspectives from Matt Thornhill and John Martin, founders of the Boomer Project.