Lies, damned lies and statistics

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

“You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time… but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

Abraham Lincoln – or P.T.  Barnum, depending on who you believe to the real source – didn’t have British publishing companies in mind when he uttered his famous words about mankind’s ultimate ability to avoid being duped.

But they certainly came to mind as I read the laughable ‘Circulation and Readership’ claim currently being bandied around the travel retail channel by Drinks International, which claims that it is read by 73% of survey respondents [“393 buyers”] compared to 18% for “all other titles”, including ‘Moodie Report’ [sic], Duty Free News International, Drinks Business, Spirits Business, IWSR, Frontier, Eurospirit, Just Drinks and Impact.

Now I don’t mind publishers trying to sell advertising but I do object to a specialist travel retail title such as The Moodie Report being thrown into  a survey whose respondents include the following: supermarkets/drinks store chains; hotel/restaurant/bar groups; importer/exporter/agent/broker groups; wholesaler/distributor groups – i.e. non travel-retail sectors.

It’s a bit like us surveying duty free buyers of, say, fragrances & cosmetics and asking ‘Who do you read – The Moodie Report or Drinks International?’

Oh dear.  We could have saved Drinks International (a title for whom we have always had respect) a lot of money by simply telling them that we are not read by restaurant groups nor supermarkets and never plan to be. So yes, they might just come out ahead…

Instead we are read by the people who we serve – the travel retail community.

Our web readership numbers – 188,801 individual pages viewed last month – have always been transparent and independently produced. Similarly our e-Newsletter and Digital Print Edition go exactly where we say and to the number of people that we say.

But my advice to any brand company deciding where to place its advertising remains what it has always been – don’t listen to the claims of Publishers or media advertising sales people, go and ask your retail clients what they read. That approach will never let you down.

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