Magazine article Marketing

Unbiased Studies Always Produce the Right Answer

Magazine article Marketing

Unbiased Studies Always Produce the Right Answer

Article excerpt

One of the small mysteries of life that never cease to amaze is how consultancy groups asked to produce a completely independent study always come up with the 'right' answer. Whether the issue is fox hunting, an end to cigarette ads in newspapers or liberalisation of commercial radio, there always seems to be a statistically significant correlation between the views of those paying for the report and the independent recommendations produced. This insight may be on a par with noting that Manchester United win a lot of football matches, but it's interesting all the same.

The latest National Economic Research Associates (NERA) report on the future of commercial radio is a perfect, intellectually respectable and ferociously independent example. The radio industry is doing very nicely at the moment, with the first [pounds]100m revenue quarter just achieved and Radio 4 limbering up for a new campaign to unsettle listeners. Naturally, the industry would like to do even better.

What better than to commission the first major study for nearly 15 years to see how that can be done, help impose a bit of consensus on a squabbling industry and produce useful lobbying ammunition.

The large commercial radio groups are more than a little intrigued by the idea that Radio 1 should be privatised. Competition, of course, but just think of the extra weight behind the commercial radio sector. NERA decides that it is time to reconsider not just the privatisation of Radio 1 but Radio 2 as well, and possibly BBC local radio. …

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