Thursday, March 24, 2005

Who Created ABC's Terri Schiavo Push Poll?

That would be TNS Intersearch, a global marketing research firm with headquarters in the UK. Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters has examined the slanted questions in the poll here, Mickey Kaus of Slate unloads on ABC here, and a Michelle Malkin article dissects the methodology here. Yahoo's business guide describes TNS Intersearch as:
TNS Intersearch provides a variety of custom market research services, including brand awareness, employee satisfaction surveys, mystery shoppers, and Web site evaluations. It is a unit of UK-based market research conglomerate Taylor Nelson Sofres.
ABC has been using TNS for years, even though political polling seems more of a sideline for them. The TNS North America website (to which ABC links) speaks strictly from a market research point of view. And the homepage contains this telling paragraph:
From our offices across North America, we provide more than data collection and analysis. We provide thinking, intuition, insight and imagination. We look behind the numbers, beyond the trends and between the lines to add value to the solutions we deliver to you.
Apparently, the "value added" was pushing the poll results in a way more palatable to the liberal culture at ABC News. Marketing research firms are usually more oriented toward giving the customer what he thinks he wants than are straight political pollsters. It sure looks as if TNS Intersearch delivered for ABC.