December 13, 2012

Sure beats paying for your ads

Back in August, we commented on a bogus survey run by a sex toy store, which Stuff thought was news.

Now, three months later, the store has put out another press release(probably NSFW) from the same survey and this time we have two different stories in Stuff and even the Herald thinks it’s news. At least the Otago Daily Times didn’t fall for it.

Again we have figures quoted to a tenth of a percentage point from small subgroups of 1500 respondents (gays, people from Gisborne, 55-59 year olds), which would be meaningless even if this was a real survey.

Sigh.

 

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Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »

Comments

  • avatar
    Julie Middleton

    … when the survey was first seeking participants earlier this year, the lure was entry in a draw for $500.I saw the lure advertised on a site called Contest.co.nz, which presumably funnels a lot of people to bogus surveys offering rewards.

    2 years ago Reply

  • avatar

    It’s not so much the bogus surveys that are annoying. It’s that editors think they constitute news.

    2 years ago Reply

  • avatar

    I really wonder what proportion of the news is like this these days, has anyone done research into this sort of thing?

    2 years ago Reply

  • avatar
    Ben Brooks

    Has anyone done some research on what impact, if any, this has on newspaper advertising levels i.e. is this replacing or supplementing advertising? If its replacing that’d provide a pretty strong incentive to reject this type of stuff.

    2 years ago Reply

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