Tlisted here are lies, there are damned lies, after which there’s a viral statistic claiming Prince William is the sexiest bald man on the earth. Over the previous few days the web has been losing its head over a headline-grabbing “examine” claiming the hairless inheritor is extra engaging than Stanley Tucci and Vin Diesel. Who on earth might be behind that startling conclusion?
The reply isn’t, as some folks questioned, Buckingham Palace’s PR division. Relatively, the examine was run by a medical tourism facilitator that connects UK sufferers with hair transplant surgeons in Turkey. Creating doubtful surveys designed to generate headline-friendly outcomes that get your organization’s title within the information is a bog-standard PR approach. (I’ve shamelessly been making an attempt to coin the time period “advertistics” to explain the observe, however, alas, it hasn’t caught.) Just about yearly there’s a viral story based mostly on a “examine” that seems to be full nonsense. You would possibly bear in mind, for instance, when a lot of respected newspapers claimed that 7% of US adults assume chocolate milk comes from brown cows. This was very a lot a case of pretend moos. The survey, commissioned by the US Nationwide Dairy Council, was worded so no person would have the ability to reply the query “the place does chocolate milk come from” precisely.
Manipulating survey questions in order that they generate the end result you need is one thing of a darkish artwork. It might be morally suspect, however I can respect the craft behind it. So I’m dissatisfied to report that the hair transplant folks didn’t put the slightest little bit of effort into making their examine appear credible. It appears somebody simply Googled “attractive” subsequent to a bald man’s title and checked out what number of outcomes got here up. In case you Google my title subsequent to “billionaire genius”, 22,100 outcomes come up; that doesn’t imply I’m a billionaire. Anyway, regardless of the plain flaws within the methodology, the Solar picked up the story and a lot of different shops adopted go well with.
In fact, whereas this explicit examine was clearly nonsense, it was innocent nonsense. The actual situation right here isn’t Prince William’s head, however how simple it’s to disseminate junk science in the media. Of the bald males I surveyed, 92% agree.