Not Tops

I was asked to find four surveys of UK towns today, in an attempt to illustrate the banality of such things. You know the stuff: “Birmingham is the fourth most most popular city in which to buy chips on the second Friday of the month”, sort of thing.

The only condition was the survey had to be published this year. The ones I found were on eco-friendliness, driving, children and customer service. I think the highest rank for Birmingham was something like 42.

On seeing this, newsdesk asked me to do a quick search to try and find a survey where Birmingham had come out on top. Using the search words “Birmingham tops” the first three surveys that came up were about: buisness crime, pirated CDs and downloading porn.

We decided to keep to the original four.


3 Responses to “Not Tops”

  1. 1 bounder October 10, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    A particular annoyance of mine are these polls conducted by compaines so as to get a mention in the newspapers. Another one today. I know that once one outlet covers it the rest have to follow or look out-of-touch, but I wish there could be a media-wide rule not to cover this rubbish.

  2. 2 joannageary October 10, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Hmmmm… I have to say that while I find most of them inane, some have their uses.

    If, for example, the results reflect an important issue that you would never find an individual willing to speak up about, then it can be a legitimate ‘in’ to investigate a story.

    The ones I hate are the blantant self-promotional ones. We often get press releases that really are just adverts.

    For example: “ABC bank, which has just launched a new small business banking service offering XYZ, has produced a survey to show that 99.9% of small businesses need to use XYZ in order to be successful.”

    Grrr…those make my blood boil.

  3. 3 Jon Bounds October 29, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Andrew Collins, that voice of reasonableness. Has a similar point today.

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