Businessweek Archives

The Furor Over Online Polls


I’ve got a story in this week’s issue about online polling. While reporting it, I was amazed by all the controversy surrounding online surveys. They are the predominant method of consumer survey research in business, but ABC News (as well as NBC, the AP, and other news organizations) won’t report results from most of them. An academic, meanwhile, says they violate a core rule of probability-based research, casting doubts on their accuracy. Most marketing departments, advertising agencies, and public relations firms say they’re willing to look past the accuracy questions. Online surveys are just too cheap, immediate, and easy to pass up. You can read about it here.


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