October 14, 2008

Lying With Numbers

Here's why you should never trust research done by an interested party.

Break Media released some research last week. The research was summarized in an article on the website TV Week by an idiot reporter under the headline, "Study Finds Men Responsive to Online Ads."

The lead finding from the article was this:

  • "The company found that 47% of online men in that demographic (18-34) have purchased a product or service after seeing an online ad."
The above sentence is written in such a way as to be maximally deceiving. On quick reading, it gives the impression that if you run an online ad you have a 47% chance of someone in that group purchasing your service or product. Bullshit.

What it actually means is that of the tens of thousands of online ads a guy may have seen in his lifetime, he has a 47% chance of ever having responded to one.

The article should not have been titled "Study Finds Men Responsive to Online Ads" it should have been titled "Study Finds Men Almost Never Responsive to Online Ads."

In case you haven't guessed, Break Media just happens to own web sites that sell online ads.

And By The Way...
The study also reported that "71% prefer a date with a “hot girl” to a poker game with the boys." Which proves that 29% are even stupider than we thought.

More About Bullshit Research...
Here and Here

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