diamond geezer

 Friday, January 05, 2007

Surveying the bleedin obvious

Aren't some surveys rubbish? They're commissioned by organisations with a vested interest. They ask blatantly obvious questions. They come up with tempting yet not terribly convincing conclusions. Then some PR demon rushes out a press release stating the conclusion they knew they were going to publish anyway, which coincidentally happens to recommend one of the company's products or services. And finally, every time, lazy journalists across the media treat the outcome as proper news and reproduce the press release word for word in an orgy of free publicity. It'd be criminal if it wasn't so easy.

So I thought I'd try cataloguing the UK's most blindingly banal studies and surveys, and expose them here as 2007 progresses. Let's see how many have slipped beneath the quality radar so far this year already...

1) "Job applications sent to employers are full of basic grammar and spelling mistakes." [Ooh, you don't say] "Research carried out by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation found that 47% of all CVs received by agencies contained mistakes." [Blimey, what a shock] "Chief executive Marcia Roberts said that people should consult recruitment firms as well as friends before sending off forms." [Well of course she did, oh foolish BBC, because she runs one]

2) "There are wide variations in the quality of education in English primary schools, a major study for the DfES has found." [Ooh, you don't say]

3) "Research from Yorkshire Bank suggests that almost half of parents in the UK believe they will find this month a serious financial struggle." [Ooh, you don't say] "One in eight parents admitted that they might have to borrow money from their children during January in an effort to see them through to pay day." [Thank goodness Yorkshire Bank can rescue us from this financial hell!]

4) "Paying people with severe mental illnesses to take medication may encourage some to stick to their drug regime, a team of London doctors says." [Ooh, you don't say]

5) "More than a third of top UK companies are failing to abide by laws which give customers the chance to opt out of unwanted emails, a survey has found." [Ooh, you don't say] "Data and marketing company CDMS said 31% of companies were risking their reputations by allowing themselves to be regarded as junk e-mailers." [I thought that would get the Daily Mail rattled] "Spokesman Ian Hubbard said: Companies who have not complied are putting their carefully-built brands at risk." [Oh shut up]

6) "Customers are less satisfied with postal services than with banks, mobile phone firms and broadband providers, a Which? survey suggests." [Ooh, you don't say] "Royal Mail said Which?'s findings did not match its own." [Ooh, you don't say]

7) "People in Britain consume on average 20 different food additives every day, with some eating up to 50, a study has suggested." [Ooh, you don't say] "The survey also found that almost half of people believe frozen food contains more preservatives than chilled foods, when in fact the chilled ready meals consumed in the survey contained on average six times more preservatives than frozen ready meals." [Lifted directly from the press release, I bet] "The research was commissioned by food manufacturer Birds Eye." [A nigh perfect example of the genre]

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream