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Thursday 28 April 2011

The Old Art Of Recycling And Copying

Back in 2009, as the economic downturn took hold, the news in the retail trade was all about discounters: supermarkets that major in own brand ranges and sell at a permanent discount price, without (mostly) the special offers and price volatility that characterise the big players.

So, back in the days when the Times was available without subscription, the paper reported that the owners of Aldi and Lidl had broken into the retail top ten. This, however, became more than just one story: whenever sales went up at Aldi and Lidl and fell at Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, it could be wheeled out again, with the new data inserted.

Thus another journalist stand-by was created. So when the “discounter effect” showed itself in data from the first part of 2011, the Maily Telegraph was on the case. The piece – published early this morning – correctly attributes the new figures to Kantar Worldpanel.

Not to be outdone, the Express has now run the same story, but with a different emphasis on the data. Whether Richard Desmond’s finest got it from the PA wire or the Telegraph is hard to tell, given that only the date is shown. But one elementary howler has entered in the retelling.

The source of the information is attributed to Kantar Worldpane. Someone at the Express in a bit of a hurry, methinks (and remember, no sub-editor to correct it).

Which means that my money would be on it being copied from the Telegraph in the first instance.

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