Surveywatch..with me, Nick Ross...
Now he's delivered his last "don't have nightmares" to millions of petrified pensioners up and down the country, I was thinking that Nick Ross might be interested in a new gig here at TWL. It's called Surveywatch...and it's an effort to stop crimes against intelligence.
We've been having a dig recently at various pieces of spurious research delivered by creatively-challenged PR types. There was the Weber Shandwick thing of course (and which still rumbles on in the comments), that Carphone Warehouse survey telling us that people like almost anything else you can think of more than they like their mobile phone, and there was that ultimate piggyback piece which explained how virtually everyone (or nobody) was likely (or not) to consider (or reject) the possible idea of one day buying (or stealing) an iPhone (or other mobile device).
Today I've alighted upon a press release on PR Newswire which describes the findings of a "new survey" (because, presumably, the findings of the old one weren't very interesting). It's not technology-related, but I'm sure you'll excuse me that, particularly when you find out that the aim of the survey was to establish who we'd all like to have as our neighbour. It'd certainly been playing on my mind.
The answer, you might be surprised to find, is the Queen. Or maybe it isn't a surprise, given that having the Queen as a neighbour would mean that you were living in a highly desirable part of London. Or Windsor. Or some godforsaken part of Scotland (perhaps the bit that Edelman has just vacated?) Damn, I've just mentioned them again, haven't I? Old Figgis will be along in a minute to have a moan...
The release includes almost every possible survey cliché. There's the battle of the sexes...94% of the people who wanted 'eye candy' Sean Connery next door were women (Connery can't still be eye candy, shurely? "Just let me hang up the coloshtomy bag, my schweet, and I'll be with you...") while men preferred a 'good converser' like David Attenborough.
I can see it now: "What do you think I should do with these bloody moles, David..?"
"Watch them closely, see how they interact with each other...study how the family unit bonds through barely audible grunts and..."
"Bugger that. I was thinking a gallon of unleaded and a match."
And of course there's the "great North/South divide," with "43% of patriotic Southerners opting for the Queen, whilst a quarter of chatty Northerners most wanted to live next door to TV legend Michael Parkinson."
A spokesman said: "The results show that people are more concerned about the quality of their neighbours, hence why the Queen beat Joanna Lumley."
Poor old Joanna. You don't have to be posh to be patronised.
The company behind the survey is developer Prestigious Retirement Villages. Which means, sadly, that whoever you'd like as your neighbour, you're probably going to get a moany old bastard who smells of piss.