Editor's note

Published on .

If there's a core reason the business of marketing is in flux it's that the American consumer is changing-and taking charge. In this special issue, we tell the story of the consumer of 2006 through an examination of demographics and trends, attitudes and anecdotes.

Advertising Age has covered consumer marketing for 76 years, and American Demographics has tracked consumer trends for more than 25. A year ago, the Ad Age Group acquired American Demographics and made it a monthly section of Ad Age to offer readers more insights into their customers. This issue is the first of what will be an annual portrait of The American Consumer.

Give credit (and a load of debt) to the average American. Continued spending by consumers softened the 2001 recession and propelled recovery. Consumer spending as a share of gross domestic product reached 70% in 2002 for the first time since 1940, and it's held at that level since. If those folks keep, well, consuming, it should be a happy new year for marketers.

Scott Donaton


Advertising Age

Bradley Johnson


Ad Age's American Demographics

Most Popular