Posts Tagged ‘AV’

Haters Gonna Hate

posted by Daniel George

Image source: DeviantArt

Those of you who remember the details of the AV referendum campaigns will surely remember the striking difference between the mass support for the motion on Twitter and the reality of public opinion as evidenced in the poll itself.

It seems that such differences between the opinions of Twitter and the public as a whole are a rather common occurrence. As such, the Pew Research Center last week released the results of a year-long study comparing Twitter’s reaction to events with that of the general public as measured by surveys.

It’s interesting to note that the stereotype that Twitter is a hotbed of liberal opinion doesn’t always hold true. In fact, sometimes, the platform can even be more conservative than the public as a whole.

Rather than seeing the platform in purely political terms, it appears smarter to note one of the fundamental rules of the internet: people will use the platform to vent their frustrations. As such, a good rule of thumb that came out of the research is that Twitter opinion is generally more negative than public opinion. Or, as 3LW so aptly put it in their seminal turn-of-the-century ‘classic’, “haters gonna hate”.

Whilst a US-based study, this is still a pretty instructive reminder of the obvious: that the demographics (and – in my case, at least – self-selecting levels of narcissism) of those tweeting mean that it shouldn’t be taken as the be-all-and-end-all of public opinion. This has obvious implications in terms of campaign research and tracking, where we need to dig a little deeper to discover how people really feel about our brands. However, it’s also useful to bear in mind when a crisis hits and you’re calming down a client who’s feeling a bit vulnerable after a deluge of abuse.

FPS’ Friday Fiver

Yes, it’s back. After a break for the Easter holiday, some glorious weather and that dress, we return with the Financial and Professional Services team’s Friday Fiver. We also have a fresh contributor this week, our new regulatory and government expert, Melanie Worthy. Other pieces this week come from regulars Ed Jones, Ross G, Karen and myself.

Crunch time for RBS and the FSA…The Treasury Select Committee and the FSA announced this week that they’ve asked City heavyweight Sir David Walker and lawyer Bill Knight to conduct an independent review of the report the FSA is producing into the failure of RBS. They will examine whether the report fairly reflects the findings of the FSA’s investigation of RBS, as well as analysis of its own regulatory activities.

Sir David Walker - charged with reviewing the demise of RBS (image from guardian.co.uk)

Walker’s unique attributes of being both a credible City figure plus a trusted Government adviser make him an obvious choice for the role. His track record helps too – he has headed Government enquiries, such as in 2009 when he examined governance at the big UK banks.

Just as well then, as he’s going to have his work cut out. However “complex” the issues were, as the FSA cites somewhat reluctantly, there will be strong media interest and expectation for answers as to the causes of RBS’ demise; the excessive cost to the public purse from bailout; and the wider malaise that played out across the banking sector as the financial crisis ensued.  Whilst Walker and Knight tread through a minefield to avoid the legal conflicts to RBS employees, they’ll be mindful of the need to show teeth and forensic review on both sides of the regulatory fence.

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FPS’ Friday Fiver

posted by Edward Jones

Nearly the weekend. First, here is this week’s Friday Fiver…

Thanks to DC, Daisy, Rachel and Nick for contributions.

Is the economy looking up?…

Economic figures this week were better than predicted, but is this just a pause for breath before the storm?

Here’s a question for you. If GDP growth is so flat (or even in reverse as it was last winter), then how can it be that unemployment fell according to the latest figures? Wednesday’s announcement from the ONS stated that total unemployment was down from 8% to 7.8%. Here’s another question for you as well. If global commodity price rises (particularly food and oil) are showing no sign of slowing down, then how can it be that inflation fell against most predictions according to the latest figures? The ONS’ figures on Tuesday recorded a drop in the Consumer Price Index from 4.4% in February to just 4.0% in March.

So what’s going on? Well, the fall in unemployment was definitely welcome, but it may be shortlived. The reason for this is the continued fear that new jobs created in the private sector may not be able to keep up with the large redundancies likely being made in the public sector as the government trims spending – it’s a bit like pouring water into a bucket at the top, and it flowing out through holes in the bottom; the problem is, we can’t pour water in fast enough.

And on inflation? Well, it turns out that we can thank retailers, and especially supermarkets, for the slight fall in inflation. According to the ONS, the level of discounting by shops is at an all time high as they try to maintain the flow of customers in through their doors (this might explain why my local Co-op has been running a 50% off wine promotion almost non-stop since Christmas). The question is, how long will these promotions continue to entice consumers? Especially when growth in wages continues to lag behind inflation, reducing the amount of disposable income we have to spend on the high street.

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