ESOMAR CONGRESS 2017: Outtakes from Day Three

By Pete Cape, Global Knowledge Director

Breaking news: I’m sure you all saw SSI’s Jackie Lorch getting a ESSIE (that’s an ESOMAR award – my name for it – totally made up) at the party last night! Well SSI also received “Exhibitor of the Year.” If you put the two awards together, it spells ‘77’ which is kinda cool as that’s our founding year…SSI is 40 and going strong!

Today was just a half day, and an after-party half day at that…

Q: So, is a list of one thing really a list?

1. Preaching to the converted

Jon Puleston (Lightspeed) had the unenviable task of pulling together every political opinion poll that every Kantar company anywhere in the world had ever produced.

This must have included the telephone opinion polls that my first employer, Audience Selection (once AGB, then TN-AGB, then TNS and hence Kantar), had done in the UK in the 80’s and 90’s. We got some of them right (to the chagrin of the traditionalists who insisted that face-to-fade was the only way to do them) and we got some of them spectacularly wrong. Being employed by Robert Maxwell and getting a wrong opinion poll on the front page of his newspaper, the Daily Mirror… oh happy days indeed…I digress.

I think John said that the closer the race actually was, the more likely it would be that the polls would get it wrong. While I understand why that may be so, I feel it might undermine the pollsters “raison d’etre” yet still further. I mean, who needs opinion polls when everyone knows who is going to win? I may have got the wrong end of the stick here, so i’ll check in his paper when I get home. But the average error rate over all time of 2.45% ? That I’m having on my headstone.

1.5 In Memoriam

The Gallup International Association is 70 years old, too. I still remember the day at ESOMAR Congress in Madrid back before the turn of the century, when my friend and mentor, Meril James, told me she was leaving us to become Secretary General of Gallup International. She was Gallup through and through, it had (I think) been where she learned her craft that she passed to me. I know it was her dream job.

I hope Kancho Stoychev made some space for her in his history of Gallup International. It would be a fitting legacy for someone who gave so much and died tragically young. I still miss her.

Next stop: Berlin 2018! See you all next year.