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    This is the personal blog of Simon Kendrick and covers my interests in media, technology and popular culture. All opinions expressed are my own and may not be representative of past or present employers
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Remove the zombies from research

“Bringing research to life”.


There are over 20,000 results in Google for this horrible, horrible cliche.

And it’s completely meaningless.

Was the research dead beforehand? Have a couple of verbatim quotes and vox pop videos literally brought sentience to the project?

Coming at it from the opposite angle, the expression is quite Stalinistic – “One death is a tragedy, but a million deaths are a statistic”

But mainly, it is just an excuse for poor communicators unable to make data or research interesting, relevant or memorable.

So, please, no more playing God and no more bringing zombies back from the dead. Find a way to let the work speak for itself.


Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tcmhitchhiker/

NB: I know that zombies are technically undead and a better analogy would have been Frankenstein’s monster, but when the options are comparing respondents to gormless, instinctive fools or a vengeful yet misunderstood creature, what are you going to do?


Selective reporting

I like the IAB. They’re nice people, and do good work. I’m even a member.

But… Internet overtakes TV to become UK’s biggest ad sector ?


As I pointed out this time last year, their reporting is a bit disingenuous (click through to see a nice chart – a product of my ability to devote greater time to blogging).

The headline finding this year is that online represents 23.5% of all UK spending, whereas TV represents 21.9%


  • Online conflates search, classified, display and email
  • Press display and classified (conveniently separated) combined account for 29.5% of ad spend
  • Display represents less than a fifth of all online spend
  • If my mental arithmetic is performing better than it was previously (no guarantee), online video advertising is about 2/3 of a % of all online advertising
  • Despite PWC auditing, the data is still ultimately self-reported. Online video spend was caveated last year because many respondents didn’t notice the change to the survey, and grouped video into display (as they had done in previous years)

There are still plenty of good stories within the data – online advertising is the only growing medium (though this is driven entirely by search).

But why let the truth get in the way of a good story.


Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/expressmonorail/

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