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Baby boomers and busters: an exploratory investigation of attitudes toward marketing, advertising and consumerism

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The purpose of the current study was to compare and contrast various marketing- and consumer-related attitudes and behavior across the baby boomer (those born between 1946-1964) and baby buster (those born between 1965-1976) generations. Study results suggest that baby busters, compared with baby boomers, are more favorably predisposed toward marketing and advertising. It was also found that the two generations differ in their understanding of the domain of marketing. These findings have important implications for marketing practitioners and academics alike. Possibly the most significant finding of the present study was the generally elevated levels of compulsive buying found across both generations. Using Faber and O'Guinn's compulsive buying clinical screener, we found that 7 percent of baby boomers and 11 percent of baby busters were classified as compulsive buyers. These are considerably higher than earlier estimates of the incidence of compulsive buying and warrant further investigation.
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Keywords: Advertising; Baby Boomers; Consumer Behaviour; Consumerism; Market Segmentation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2000

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