For the past eight years, spending on dad has averaged about $94 bucks, this year, while spending on Mother's Day has held steady at about $140, spending on dad has risen by $11 dollars. This increase in consumer spending is not the result of increased spending in advertising. Perhaps the answer to why dad is suddenly so popular is in a recent Harris poll where adults surveyed said they would have most wanted to have Cliff Huxtable, played by Bill Cosby as their father growing up followed by Ward Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver) and Jim Anderson (Father Knows Best). What these fathers all have in common is that they are a throwback to happier times, in fact, to times so great they never really existed outside of the small screen. Now as we are staring another contentious election in the face, with record unemployment, increased world unrest and increasingly dangerous weather patterns; idealizing fatherhood seems a natural place to run. My dad passed away three years ago this week. He never lived to see Barack Obama become president (he would have loved that) or Tiger Woods' incredible fall (that would have broken his heart). But I'm proud he lived long enough for me to give him the kind of gifts that made him forget the paper mâché…or maybe he never didn't want to. So for whatever reason Father's Day spending is increasing this year…let's go with it.
This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
Larry Woodard is a director on the Advertising Week board and chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies' New York Council.
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