Jan 6, 2008

No Experts, Please


There's an article in today's New York Times about marketing to seniors that's one of those odd pieces of marketing journalism I can never figure out.

The piece, which will be read by a great many people, since it is featured in the popular Week In Review section, goes on for about a half page without ever once quoting someone who works for an ad agency, marketing consultancy or actual client. Instead, the reporter relies on quotes from professors at MIT and Quinnipiac as well as some folks over at AARP. (American Association for Retired People).

Now the article is rather broad and makes some very unsurprising conclusions (old people don't like to be referred to as "old") but still-- you'd think someone would have bothered to consult someone who actually works in the business. And while I can't recall any other specific examples, this is certainly not the first time I've read an article in a well-known national publication that relies on a bunch of college professors for insight into marketing issues. So either we have no perceived authority on our chosen profession or the reporters are really, really lazy.

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