George Parker: but… but the polls said!!!

Oh yes, it was supposed to be the UK’s closest election since Richard III was buried in a car park. ‘Cos every poll had put Labour and the Tories neck and neck; resulting in a hung parliament that would have required Boris Johnson to team up with Russell Brand to create “The Purple Party!” OK, I have no idea what the fuck that means… But I like the sound of it.
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Oh, I remember, it was how Private Eye once described Tony Wedgewood Benn… If it is purple and flies backwards… Tony will vote for it!

Anyway, moving on, polls, which are a sub-division of that shitasmic morass the Adverati love to describe as “Research,” have throughout history been spectacularly wrong.

Another recent example was when Carl Rove went fucking ballistic on the Wizened of Oz’s Fox News studio upon being informed that Obama was coasting towards a second term. He had done the polls which showed the opposite for Christ’s sake. HE COULD NOT BE WRONG! Is this hubris or stupidity? Apparently, it is of no importance to “Rupe” as Rove continues to be a valuable contributor to the “Fair and Balanced” network.

But when it comes to the subject of research, I am with Bill Bernbach who once said, “Research can trap you into the past.” Whether it be polls or focus groups, the majority are usually wrong.

I wish I had a dollar for each focus group I have sat through when the moderator asks the cretins who are prepared to sit in a mall sub-basement for two hours for a few quid whilst offering their opinion as to whether a new brand of tampon should be characterized as either a Unicorn or a Gorilla. (Yes, I have actually been there and heard that question.) It is also a fact that over 70 per cent of new products that tested like gangbusters in focus groups, failed within less than a year after they were introduced.

No wonder Steve Jobs thought research was a crock of shit and relied on his gut instinct. But what the fuck did he know?

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About George Parker

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George Parker has spent 40 years on Madison Avenue. He’s won Lions, CLIOs, EFFIES, and the David Ogilvy Award. His blog is adscam.typepad.com, which is required reading for those looking for a gnarly view of the world’s second oldest profession.” His latest book, Confessions of a Mad Man, makes the TV show Mad Men look like Sesame Street.

2 comments

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    I forgot to mention… Now that the elections are over can David Cameron roll down his shirt sleeves, put his suit jacket back on, and stop pretending he’s a commoner… You’re a fucking “Toff” David. Always have been, always will be!
    Cheers/George “AdScam” Parker

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    With the Greek referendum results in… As Yogi would say… Fucking Dejavue all over again!