Buttery my a…

So I’ve just flicked across onto MTV R and, as usual for an MTV channel, it’s running adverts. The one that got my attention was an ad for the spreadable margarine Flora Buttery fronted by Gary Rhodes, who must really need the money – at least Jamie Oliver and that berk doing the Aldi ads are fronting for decentish food products, not hydrogenated vegetable fats.

The main trick it does is the good old Pepsi Challenge format – Flora Buttery versus Lurpak Lighter Spreadable (not named in the voiceover but printed in an ultra-light Helvetica along the bottom) on crumpets. Lurpak Lighter Spreadable is, of course, the tasteless version. The ad then tries to make it look like most people preferred Flora Buttery in their taste test.

However, the best bit of the ad is where along the bottom of the screen (this must be an Ofcom mandate or something) it prints the true results:

Out of 200 people tested. 48% preferred Flora Buttery Taste, 45% Lurpak Lighter Spreaable, 7% had no preferences.

In other words, 96 people liked Flora Buttery better than Lurpak, but 90 people liked Lurpak better than Flora Buttery while 14 people couldn’t give a damn. Not only is the difference within the margin of error but it shows that in their own taste test, a very large number of people preferred the other brand anyway, and more people either did that or didn’t care than gave some preference, no matter how small, for Flora’s own product.

I believe the phrase is ‘epic fail’.

If this actually happens…

Virgin Media can get fucked. I am not having every web site I visit sent to China so some server can send back ‘targeted’ advertising, “anonymous” or no. It’s effectively unavoidable, ISP level spyware with a crap “anti-phishing” (read DNS hijacking) justification. The first thing I will be doing if this happens is getting a BT phone line installed and any non-BT ADSL ISP that doesn’t subscribe to this shit, probably Be.

This is of course assuming that this is even legal, and if it is it shouldn’t be. Who the hell thought this was a good idea, and why the hell haven’t they been fired already?

Edit: See here, here, here and here (the latter two contain a lot of great detective work about how dodgy Phorm actually are.) Let’s hope resistance isn’t futile on this one.