Eight out of ten owners…

For years, Whiskas catfood was advertised on English TV with the slogan “8 out of 10 owners say their cat prefers it”. Any kid that grew up in the 70s and 80s had it drummed into their heads so often, it was like a religious feline chant.

Until someone (doubtless a competitor) took issue with the tagline. Is that statistically valid? Surely in market research not everyone cares, or knows what they prefer. I guess they’re right.

So Whiskas how to adapt it: “8 out of 10 owners – who expressed a preference – said their cat prefers it”. But somehow it didn’t purr so smoothly.

Also I never worked out WHOSE PREFERENCE. The owners’ preference, which they expressed on behalf of the cat? Or what they believed the cat preferred? Or did Whiskas have a way to find out not only what the cat had eaten, but also its personal opinion? Which the owners confirmed, sorry: expressed. Opinion research on a whole new level.

No wonder Whiskas finally abandoned it.

Alex Woodruff

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