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Star Advisory Panel: Pretty Much Just A Free Focus Group For The Ad Reptiles

Indyq10_1TDW signed up to be a member of the Indianapolis Star Advisory Panel a couple months ago. Why not? Maybe they'll ask readers about, like, news coverage and issues. Alas, here's the most recent e-mail they sent urging TDW to participate:

"Recently, we sent you an invitation to take part in our latest Indianapolis Star Advisory Panel survey. This survey focuses on department store advertising and shopping habits. There is still time to participate!"

Okay. Fine. Since you asked twice. Clickety. And do you know what popped up? As promised, a series of annoying questions about newspaper advertising, despite the fact that TDW told the Star when she signed up that she doesn't receive a print edition of the paper at home and rarely reads local news anywhere but online.

In case you were wondering, most of the questions focused on the layout and design of advertising. The survey authors were fond of throwing out a visual image of a Star ad (the image for this post is a clickable example from the questionnaire) and asking a dozen inane questions about it.

Ultimately, TDW realizes that newspapers are about advertising and making enough money to make ends meet, so there can be news in the paper. But we sure do hope that down the road, the Star will send out at least one survey with questions about stuff other than the last time a respondent visited Macy's and how much she spent there. Ugh.


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Given the Gannett obsession with placing the bottom line over actually developing reputable news organizations ... it's not all that surprising.

I got this one, too. What a waste of time. Sure would be more accurate if they had thought to strip the advertiser's name out of the ad. Folks around here already have some preconceived notions about those particular retailers. Asking the question "blind" makes for a more accurate marketing result. Or maybe that's not what they wanted. From the way the questions were written, it appears they are trying to sell the black & white R.O.P. advertisers on using color in their ads - a nice bump in the sales dollars and puts those pressmen on the four-color presses back to work. Wonder how many other people answered that the only place they get their news is on the Internet?

Me too ...... signed up thinking that they actually cared what I thought about the NEWSpaper not the ADpaper. The damn survey took forever and in the end it was really worthless since we now read online only. The real thing wasn't worth paying for and we on longer need it for the dog!

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