As so-called baby boomers age, there has arisen a new generation to be categorized, characterized, analyzed, stereotyped, written about, targeted, and advertised and sold to. And apparently none of this can happen without first tagging it with a label. The name that seems to have stuck so far is "Generation X," taken from Douglas Coupland's 1991 novel. If nothing else, though, that label suggests an unknown quantity and emphasizes the fact that the most recent generation to come of age is more diverse and fragmented than any before. Undaunted, Ritchie, a past senior vice-president at advertising powerhouse McCann-Erickson and now responsible for media buying for General Motors, argues that marketers and advertisers have ignored differences between "X-er's" and "boomers," which they must now face up to or risk losing this newly dominant market. Traits belonging to this group worth noting, suggests Ritchie, are its diversity, fascination with interactivity, resistance to obvious or patronizing marketing appeals, uncertain future, and general resentfulness of the attention the previous generation received.
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