Seeing Red when it comes to survey copy

red magazine logo

In a bored moment over the weekend I flicked through a copy of my wife’s Red magazine, a women’s publication that styles itself as ‘for the best things in life’.

In it they devoted a full page to a readers’ survey – the Red drink survey 2016. I like their priorities – but not the way they’ve gone about their survey. Here’s why.

It is an online survey, and on the survey web page it says:

“Welcome to this survey which is all about wine, spirits and beer. We want to hear about your favourite tipples and where you are drinking them.”

Now, this is all very interesting. But my problem is with the full page ad that is there to attract people to complete the survey. This says:

“Tell us how you drink and win £5000 worth of wine. From chablis to chardonnay you’ll have the best-stocked fridge around.”

The problem? Bias. It’s the one thing that should not be included in a survey. Not only is the ad going to bias the audience who take the survey towards people who like wine, it is biasing it towards women who drink white wine!

Online they also add two tags to their survey: competition, wine. I rest my case!

I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the survey which I suspect will not be a true account of the readership’s drinking habits.

We’ve written the copy for, and planned and implemented, a whole range of surveys for our clients. We find surveys useful for many reasons. Firstly they’re a great way to frame a marketing plan or strategy so that it is well informed from the start. Secondly you can gain interesting results that you can generate PR, social media and blogs. And thirdly they can assist with white papers and case studies, which can help you demonstrate industry knowledge.

It is clear that if Red wants to promote a survey they should be giving away a Mulberry handbag or Tiffany diamonds so that they eliminate bias while retaining an incentive. I’ll let you know the results of their survey in due course! And don’t let us put you off doing the survey. After all, there is £5k of wine to be won! (Sorry if you’re reading this after the closing date!)

As always, if there’s anything I can help with please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m always happy to lend an ear – 079311 51545.