10 Yetis, BabyChild, and the many deceits of Charlotte Horsfall

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
10:00 am and is filed
under Consume!.

I’d like to begin by insisting that you read Unity’s long post about what 10 Yetis have been unleashing on the public for a long time now; the scale of their pathetic avarice should not be underestimated:

Ministry of Truth – Sex Education, Churnalism and 10 Yetis – A Cornucopia of Crap

10 Yetis came to my attention in the middle of Nadine Dorries’ widely-mocked abstinence ‘education’ campaign when they released the results of an absurdly unprofessional and leading survey about parents’ attitudes to sex education. 10 Yetis refuse to say what prompted them to conduct and release this poll, but (a) I don’t think I am wrong to suspect that they saw a little media storm brewing and sought to exploit it, and (b) their refusal to answer this question and others honestly – or at all – is the reason for this post, so they may want to re-think their current ‘stonewall’ strategy.

(In fact, the good people at 10 Yetis should also be advised that if they are going to claim expertise in search engine optimisation, they will want to at least pretend to be dimly aware of the capacity your average blogger has for repeating questions in public when these questions are ignored and/or dealt with dishonestly in private.)

To be fair to Charlotte Horsfall (“Consumer PR Exec @10Yetis PR Agency”), not all of the following deceits are hers and hers alone. Some belong in no small part to her boss Andy Barr and anyone else who had a hand in conceiving/executing their bottom-feeding business model, but there’ll be time enough to address these people later.

Deceit #1

Charlotte Horsfall was asked who commissioned this survey/poll. Her answer:

BabyChild commissioned the survey of British parents of children age between 5 – 11 years.

‘BabyChild’ is the name of a white label store owned by the same people who own and operate 10 Yetis. To pretend distance by presenting them as a client is entirely dishonest; the poll was. in truth, self-commissioned; a PR company sought to promote their own web store through a survey.

Deceit #2

This one may not be entirely on Charlotte (it depends on who wrote/approved the press release) but the information was released in a way that risks giving a false impression that the survey was conducted by a company that had a relationship with a relevant customer base and/or some associated experience/expertise. White label stores do not work in this way, and in any case there is no evidence that the survey was conducted among customers of that store (see #3):

A survey has been conducted by a leading independent baby product review website in the UK to ask parents how they feel about their children learning about the subject in a school environment. www.babychild.org.uk polled 1,732 parents in the UK, with children aged between 5 and 11 years old. – source)

(Psst! 10 Yetis boss Andy Barr cannot pretend that this happened without his knowledge/approval, as he publicly gloated about the success of the PR stunt in which he is quoted as the co-founder of BabyChild.)

Deceit #3

Given what the press release claimed/implied, Charlotte Horsfall was asked; “Was the site conducted on your site, or among your customers in some other way?”

Instead of saying ‘no’ (which would have been an honest answer), Charlotte said this:

“BabyChild conducted the study by using an opt-in database that has access to over one million consumers all responses being anonymous.”

Charlotte has refused to elaborate any further on this, but if we’re to go by other amateur surveys they’ve conducted, this is a reference to the third party website SurveyMonkey, and somewhat akin to someone claiming they are part of the Murdoch media empire because they have a MySpace page.

So, not only are 10 Yetis dishonest, but they are the type of low-rent company who do things on the cheap while pretending theirs is a far grander and more professional affair than it really is.

Deceit #4

Charlotte Horsfall was asked if her company was a member of the MRS (Market Research Society). Her answer:

BabyChild are not members of the MRS.

The more correct answer is, of course, that 10 Yetis is not a member of the MRS (Market Research Society). This alone should make anyone wary of portraying them (and/or otherwise relying on them) as if they were a serious ‘pollster’; they are not.

In fact, 10 Yetis appear to conduct polls purely for the purposes of generating publicity (and this mainly for what they describe as “internal clients” when they stray anywhere near the truth).

Deceit #5

I’m going to close by including the full text of their entirely unscientific poll (below). The leading nature of the questions should be obvious (and this has been addressed by Unity in any case), but I would also like to draw the last three questions and their responses to your attention.

If one is to give this poll any credit, using these last 3 questions, one can use it to argue strongly for sex education in schools; the respondents’ children appear to seek information about sex at a younger age than it is taught in schools, and the majority of parents are ill-equipped to deal with it themselves.

10 Yetis could just as easily have come out against what Dorries proposed, because the ‘findings’ of this poll are a meaningless muddle of mendaciousness. Not that such an effort would be welcomed by anyone supporting an evidence-based position; this is an amateur effort that sought to jump on board a debate about our children’s sex education in the hope that this would generate some cheap publicity.

Well, here we are, 10 Yetis; here’s your publicity. Choke on it.

The 'BabyChild' survey conducted by 10 Yetis

[Psst! I know times is tough, but if you are working as an employee or ‘intern’ for these no-hopers, you could do better. You may even wish to seek out PR experience with a charity, or some other organisation that puts the public interest ahead of pathetic profit streams. You’re likely to do far less damage that way, and you may sleep better most nights.]

UPDATE – Some related posts:
Cath Elliott – The great 10 Yetis circle jerk
Richard Bartholomew – An Abominable Sex Education Survey

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