VNU goes to scatological lengths for Net research

Is this really necessary?

The Reg has been invited to a press briefing that will tell all about the future of the Internet. Which is nice. IT publisher/cuckoo VNU and 'big five' firm KPMG will thrill and amaze you with details of the "fourth wave of in-depth research into Internet usage across Europe". Crikey.

A probing, in-depth survey has found that consumer Internet usage is rising. But that's not the issue - what we all want to know is "what sites keep people hooked? Which ones are revisited the most and why? Are consumers becoming more sophisticated as they adjust to the online world? Will they be spending more on the internet? Which country spends most time on the internet and what are the key drivers of internet usage? The survey answers all of these questions."

That's amazing you say. How on earth did VNU find this info out? This is where things turn peculiar. One sentence in particular caught our attention. Talking of its survey methodology, we were informed that "samples of approximately 1540 people in each country were used." Initially we thought that 1540 people was in fact a fairly accurate number to come up with, but then - hang on - what samples of these poor souls did they use?

Blood? Urine? Faeces? Semen? Were the field testers adequately insured? My god, we know that surveys of this kind are usually not worth the paper they're written on, but this is going a bit far. We're intrigued to know what tests were performed on the samples to ascertain their owners' feelings about the Internet.

Of course this approach will help to justify the survey. People won't need to know why so much money was pissed up the wall. Or why the results were so shit. There will no need for blood-letting. And as for site stickiness... ®

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