Tag Archives: onepoll

“People would love/fear/fuck a robot!” says TV show about robots

Did you see the story about mankind’s fear of the impending rise of the robots? Chances are you did, with widespread coverage of the story including appearances in the GuardianTimesDaily Mail and Daily Star:

Humans hope robots of the future will make love not war

A fifth of Britons have said they would have sex with an android but considerably more fear the rise of the machines will threaten mankind.

One in three, perhaps influenced by the likes of the Terminator franchise, believe that robots will spell the end of the human race.

Perhaps more pressing however is that almost as many are concerned they could lose their job to intelligent machines.

Source: The Times, 6 May 2014

Would YOU have sex with a robot? Prostitutes, police and cleaners revealed to be just some the jobs that droids could take over by 2025

In 10 years our streets could be governed by RoboCop-style police, our taxis may drive themselves and prostitutes might be replaced by so-called ‘sexbots.’

That’s according to a survey that looked at how robots will rise over the next decade.

It found that more than a third of people fear robots will take their jobs, while the same number fear androids will threaten the human race’s existence.

Source: Daily Mail, 6 April 2014

The Times and the Daily Mail, amply illustrating their differing priorities, there. However, whether we’re fighting or fucking our new robot brethren, the source of the story remains the same:

The survey was completed by 2,000 British people to mark the launch of new sci-fi TV police drama, Almost Human, which features an android cop.

Curiously, the list of jobs which could be taken over by robots didn’t include ‘journalist’ – when given the number of outlets who ran this simple copy/paste of a One Poll survey press release, it seems an industry ripe for automation.

“People know too little about the Bible!” says TV show about the Bible

Christmas is just around the corner, and with it the birth of our lord, saviour and definitely-exactly-as-the-bible-describes son-of-god, Jesus Christ.

It seems that, despite having infant schools the length and breadth of the country act out the birth of arguably the world’s most famous carpenter, people just aren’t familiar enough with the minor details of the bronze age mythology of a specific bunch of nice chaps in the Middle East.

Or, at least, so says this particular story in the Daily Star, the veracity of which is in no way undermined by the dual facts that people reportedly believed Jesus wore sunglasses on the cross (which is absolutely definitely not a joke response from anyone involved in the survey), and that this survey was placed into the news via Bad PR regulars One Poll, on behalf of a TV series about the Bible:

The survey, to mark the release of epic series The Bible on DVD and Blu-Ray, also showed many Brits had no idea who Adam and Eve were, or who built the Ark.

It’s hard to know which source has the least chance of accurately reflecting reality: the Bible, or One Poll. In that respect, at least, this story makes perfect sense.

“You can fall in love with someone who doesn’t live near you!” says location-based dating app

“You can fall in love with someone who doesn’t live near you!” says location-based dating app

“iPads are an important part of parenting!” says iPad insurers

“iPads are an important part of parenting!” says iPad insurers

The humble bedtime book is a thing of the past, with new, exciting and futuristic technologies taking their place. It’s a brave new world, and one fraught with dangers, which is perhaps why the article was brought to us by an insurance company:

LifeProof, which carried out the poll, said: “Bedtime stories are an important part of a child’s routine, and it’s good to see that tablets are bringing these stories to life even further by encouraging creative interaction between parents and their children.

Lifeproof – who hired Bad PR regulars One Poll to create the ‘data’ behind this story – want you to remember that with great power comes great responsibility, which is why your humble iPad ought to be fully insured.

“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.