Similarly, advertising is also a powerful social and cultural force in American society (Jhally, 1995; Pollay, 1986). Advertising has been attributed as being both a m irror o f societal values and a m older o f our beliefs and norm s (Holbrook, 1987; Lantos, 1987; Pollay, 1986). In fact, many would argue that, w ith the current level of m edia and technology available, advertising and the mass m edia have become more powerful than other institutions such as education, religion, and even the family (Pollay, 1986). W ith advertising’s ability to yield both econom ic and cultural power, it is im portan t for advertisers and consum er researchers to understand how it is both influenced by and influences individuals in society. This point is particularly true in light o f the m ajor dem ographic shifts occurring in the United States. For example, people over 50 years of age will soon make up the largest age group in
the United States, and ethnic m inorities are predicted to account for close to 50% of the population by 2050 (U.S. Census, 2000). Inform ation on how individual characteristics affect the sending, receiving, and processing o f com m unication is crucial for marketers to com m unicate and serve tom orrow ’s consum ers in an increasingly diverse marketplace.