Tag Archives: 72 point

“Kids don’t know anything about geography!” says new geography iPad app

“Kids don’t know anything about geography!” says new geography iPad app

Kids today, not only do they not know they’re born, but clearly they also haven’t a clue where they were born, given their appalling lack of geographical knowledge. If only there were some kind of technological solution to this knowledge gap…

The survey was carried out by Travelzoo, creators of a new iPad app called Map The World. A spokesman for the firm said: “There are a few children who don’t know the most basic geography.

“Children can get a lot out of knowing more about the world they live in. It will stay with them for the rest of their life.”

Of course, given that this story (which by-line author Nathan Rao of the Express contributed less than half of the copy to) was created by Bad PR regulars One Poll, there’s a good reason to be sceptical of these figures – especially where it comes to what children do and don’t know. Isn’t that right, Mr Gove?

“Women are more attractive than men, and can be good ego accessories!” says app about looks

“Women are more attractive than men, and can be good ego accessories!” says app about looks

We have something of a mixed bag of genderism to unpack in this story from the Express: firstly, the implication that men are less attractive than women, which comes with a whole host of problematic attendant assumptions around the value of looks in one gender or another, and the related value of that particular gender. It’s flattering and helpful to neither men nor women.

Plus, we have the equally insidious suggestion that having an attractive woman on one’s arm is a boost to the self-esteem of men. Clearly this sets up all manner of implications, from the reduction of women to a mere accessory to male ego, all the way to the definition of masculinity being reflected and represented by the attractiveness of partner a man can attract.

In a few short sentences, we’ve some pretty ugly assumptions and unhelpfully genderist messages sent – and to what purpose?

But how do ugly men end up with a beautiful girl who might usually be out of their league?

Well, being funny, a good listener and having nice manners are the key attributes, according to the survey by lookalikes site Celebalike.com.

All this, simply to advertise an app about celebrity lookalikes? Was it really worth it? Well, if you were the makers of the app surveying the headlines, or if you were Bad PR regulars OnePoll, the company hired to produce the ‘data’ behind this story, you might well think it was worth it.

“People show off about being on holiday to make their friends jealous!” says hotel website

“People show off about being on holiday to make their friends jealous!” says hotel website

It’s no longer enough to post photos of yourself on social media – the new media fad is to post photos of yourself in exotic locations, if this report is to be believed – which, given the company who paid for the story, it may not be:

The research was carried out by Hotels.com.

It found 72 per cent of Britons use smartphones to take and share photos when on holiday, with Facebook being the most popular site for showing off.

Given that a hotel website is stressing the importance of being in an exotic location when taking your (shiver) ‘selfie’, it’s fair to say there’s a clear potential for bias here. Side note: I include ‘selfie’ in inverted comments as a mark of disdain, but I draw the line at giving any credence to ‘braggie’.

As for the data, there’s reason to be skeptical there too:

The data was collected by OnePoll from a sample of 2,000 working adults taken between 1 and 4 November.

The figures were then weighted to represent the whole country.

While it may well be the case that Bad PR regulars OnePoll weighted the data to represent the whole country, it’s worth pointing out that without access to the questions that were asked and the options given for people to choose from, it’s impossible to be sure the results which were weighted to represent the country weren’t already flawed. If that was indeed the case, the weighting merely spreads those flaws over a wider area, like covering a stain in the carpet by smudging it over a larger section. The data can still be dirty.

“Children demand expensive toys for Christmas!” says toy shop

“Children demand expensive toys for Christmas!” says toy shop

Christmas is coming, and with it the outrageous demands of the nation’s children. £900 for Christmas? I remember when all kids wanted for Christmas was a piece of slate and some chalk, so they could draw hoops and sticks in the days before having a hoop and a stick was commonplace.

OK, admittedly, that isn’t true – but it made the point I was trying to get across, so it doesn’t matter if it’s true. Isn’t that right, company who hired Bad PR regulars OnePoll to create the pseudoresearch behind this Daily Mail article?

A spokesperson for Early Learning Centre, which commissioned the research, said: ‘For many children, putting together their wish list is the start of the Christmas build-up.

‘Many take it very seriously to make sure Father Christmas delivers the exact presents they want.

‘But with the value of children’s gift lists approaching the £1,000 mark, it could mean there are a few disappointed youngsters this year.

I don’t know, journalism was proper journalism when I were a lad. PR types these days, they don’t know they’re born.

“People don’t know much about trees!” says tree charity

“People don’t know much about trees!” says tree charity

Now this story is particularly sad – the decline of conker knowledge. What’s more British than conkers? Other than, you know, an aggressively patronising view of foreigners and an intrusive-yet-inefficient press? Oh, and bowler hats? But beside those three things, the next most British thing is definitely mucking about with horse chestnuts, on string, dipped in vinegar.

It gets worse:

More than 10 per cent of Britons admitted to never having heard of a horse chestnut, maple or even an oak tree.

Really? We’re genuinely expected to believe that 1 in 10 people have never heard of an oak tree? Or is it meant to be that if you take those who haven’t heard of a horse chestnut tree, add to that those who haven’t heard of a maple tree, and then add to that those who haven’t heard of an oak tree, then you get 10% combined? It’s hard to say.

What isn’t hard to say is the name of the organisation who hired Bad PR regulars OnePoll to tell us all we’re arborarily ignorant?

A spokesperson for Sky Rainforest Rescue, which commissioned the research, said: ‘Trees are a central part of our history and our culture in Britain.

‘We are surrounded by trees, whether it’s a few dotted along the street outside our home or all around us when we take long walks in the countryside.

‘But while not all of us can be experts when it comes to trees, it seems there are some people who aren’t familiar with even the most common trees.

This story puts me in something of a tricky position: on the one hand, I don’t usually like to criticise a charity – it’s a tough economic world out there, and I’m sure many charities are suffering, so perhaps it’s not the biggest crime if a charity uses an insulting PR line to grab attention.

On the other hand, I do like to criticise Sky, and I adore pointing out just how ubiquitous and pervasive the methodologically-suspect work of One Poll and 72 Point are in the news – in this case not just the Mail, but the print issue of the Telegraph too.

To see a story as suspect this actually make it onto physical paper might actually be the worst kind of waste of a tree.

“Lots of companies use Christmas as an excuse for publicity!” says everyone, in the Daily Star

Christmas is a great excuse to get coverage for your company – a point which was unintentionally made astoundingly clear in the Daily Star last week, in a story with perhaps the most PR-per-inch of any I’ve ever seen.

“People get angry!” says film with famously-angry protagonist

Queue jumping, spitting and people who say ‘well jel’: Survey reveals the things that REALLY make us see red

Queue jumpers, benefit scroungers, traffic jams and petrol prices have emerged among a list of the 50 things which make us angry, a study revealed yesterday.

Researchers polled 2,000 Brits to reveal the most likely rage-inducing things, with people pushing in front of us in queues unsurprisingly topping the list.

Source: Daily Mail, 19th November 2013

Things clearly wind us up – from queue jumping, to celebrities, to rudeness. But do you know what didn’t make it into the list? Film companies hiring Bad PR blog regulars Onepoll to create meaningless pseudoresearch in order to disguise their advertising as ‘news’:

A spokesman for The Wolverine, which commissioned the poll to mark the Blu-ray and digital release of the film, said: ‘Everyone has moments where they get into a bit of a rage, but the majority of the time, it’s over something fairly trivial, as this list shows.

Of course, the good thing about this kind of harmless pseudoresearch is that it can’t have any negative repercussions – such as reinforcing tabloid narratives about ‘benefit scroungers’ (sixth on the list).

It’s worth bearing in mind, too, that this list wasn’t compiled by asking people to name things that annoy them – instead, it was compiled by giving people a list of things a PR company has deemed as annoying, and asking them to put them in order.

Personally, as a member of the Onepoll polling community, had they asked me in an open-ended question what I find most annoying, I know what I would have told them.

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“Retirement can be dull – unless you’ve saved up enough to enjoy it!” says building society

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“How well you sleep and what you dream of can affect your relationship!” says hotel chain

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“You can learn lots at university!” says animated film about university