Posted by Jonathan Rosenblum on July 11, 2006

"Adult shopping decisions might be affected by a sociological change called 'age compression'--the idea that kids may be getting older younger and demanding adult products," reports Andrea Canning. By ABC's count, kids are demanding cell phones, iPods, and may even want Japan's nonalcoholic "Kids'Beer." The story twice quotes Paul Kurnit, president of KidsShop Youth Marketing Company: "There is focus on a more savvy, more informed, more inclusive kid today," he notes. Two problems with ABC's report: first, ABC fails to disclose that Kurnit is also a product consultant to ABC's parent company, Disney. Second, ABC suggests that it's the kids demanding adult products. Compare that to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's story on the same topic, which describes "age compression" more accurately as a: "marketing strategy in which adult products and attitude are pushed on younger kids." But give half a spin point back to ABC: the story ends with a therapist calling on parents to avoid thinking that "the child is a miniature adult. The child is not."

Comments

Please note that the name of the Canadian institution in your article is incorrect. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is a crown corporation which operates at arm's length from the government and is known for its excellence in journalism reporting.

We'll get on it right away. The CBC's definition of "age compression" clearly is the more accurate of the two presented.

i think the definition is limited and we should also consider the effects of promoting younger skewing products to an older audience, which may have the effect of age compressing the audience and the subsequent advertising/programming environment in a downward direction. overall point being, age compression conceivably can have upward or downward compression effects on customers, audiences, etc.

Would it be possible to get a link to the CBC article about age compression? I've been trying to find it, but I fear it might be missing.

Cory, here is the archived link: http://web.archive.org/web/20090505134840/http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/money/sexy/marketing.html