The age-old battle over the relevance of millennials has kicked off between two industry heavy weights – outspoken lecturer Mark Ritson and Cummins&Partners chief strategy officer Adam Ferrier.
In what could be called the grudge match of the advertising ages, the pair entered a discussion on Twitter today when Publicis Media chief strategy officer in China, Shann Biglione, questioned a recent TED Talk about millennials in the workforce.
Apparently I’m the only one thinking Simon Sinek’s recent talk about Millennials in the workforce is mostly bullshit…— Shann Biglione (@LeShann) January 3, 2017
The TED Talk featured author Simon Sinek speaking about the different expectations of the millennial generation in the workplace, from free food to bean bag chill out areas – a common feature in most advertising and technology companies today.
Sinek also spoke about how the levels of anxiety and low self-esteem are on the rise for the age group, as they were raised in the reality of filters and Facebook.
While Biglione challenged the accuracy of the Ted Talk, Ferrier agreed that millennials are a generation that differs from any other due the impact of technology.
such a massive change in technology will create a generation genuinely different to predecessors (despite what @markritson claims)— Adam Ferrier (@adamferrier) January 3, 2017
However Ritson, who has previously questioned why marketers are obsessed with millennials, pulled out statistics from the IBM Institute of Business Value that showed millennials have the same career goals as baby boomers and Gen X.
ok Adam here is representative empirical data showing no difference. Now show me the data supporting your argument. pic.twitter.com/ovl3TF2lOS— Mark Ritson (@markritson) January 3, 2017
Ferrier fired back with a study of his own that found millennials are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety due to the pervasive power of media and increased screen time.
Unfortunately for Ferrier, this is a rant Ritson isn't prepared to take lying down. He questioned the validity of the study, with the researcher stating, “There were no clear causal factors” between the findings and millennials.
And it continued…
it's from lots of data published in HBR last year. https://t.co/YjmreXu3iT please send data supporting your argument.— Mark Ritson (@markritson) January 3, 2017
Agree with him. Complicated issue, causal relationship v hard to 'prove'. Kind of like your HBR bar charts— Adam Ferrier (@adamferrier) January 3, 2017
studies show correlation with tech and social media rise with correlated rise in D + A in younger people— Adam Ferrier (@adamferrier) January 3, 2017
yeah. i think i'll wait for a time + place when im a little more motivated. I liked Sineks video. Night.— Adam Ferrier (@adamferrier) January 3, 2017
If 2016 was anything to go by, 2017 will not be the year that the millennial battle is put to bed.
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