Blog: Research shows... - well it would, wouldn't it?
Olly Wehring | 11 January 2007
Soft drinks companies have been given one in the eye by the boffins, it appears.
A report this week by doctors from medical journal Plos Medicine has found significant sponsorship bias in articles about non-alcoholic drinks. The researchers graded 206 articles on soft drinks, fruit juices and milk - 54% of which were funded - as favourable, neutral, or unfavourable to the sponsor involved.
The doctors concluded that industry-sponsored papers were between four and eight times more likely to draw favourable conclusions for the manufacturer involved.
Examples of favourable research included the positive effects of milk on bone mass and nutrients in the elderly - supported by the US and Australian dairy industry - and the relationship between hydration and cola or coffee - funded by the Coca-Cola Company.
This is not to say that manufacturers in any way manufactured the research findings (excuse the pun). It remains an unquestionable truth that companies choose and fund research topics that play into their own hands - something they are perfectly entitled to do.
But while the consumer is well aware that Red Bull does not always give you wings, nor that Pepsi can really make you dance like that, scientifically proven benefits of a brand, presented in the mainstream news, can be a more powerful and subtle marketing tool.
That leaves the poor journalist - me - to decide what studies to report, and which ones are so blindingly obvious they hold about as much worth as testing fresh air for oxygen content.
Bet you feel sorry for me now, don’t you?
Heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson - lead singer of the band Iron Maiden, for the unitiated - is clearly a man not afraid to get his hands dirty. ...
The homebrewing revival continues in the UK - and evidence has come that even the supermarket chains are taking it semi-seriously. ...
Does Pernod Ricard have something to hide? In a press conference after the release of full-year results today, only a quarter of the 100 minutes were given over to questions from journalists....
Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Carlsberg, Heineken, Coca-Cola Amatil, California's winelands and Cognac....
- The End of the Road for International Beer Brands?
- Allegro: The shape of things to come at Pernod?
- Pernod Ricard's FY Performance by Region, Brand
- Comment - Another One Bites Bacardi's Dust
- US craft vodka puts squeeze on Pernod's Absolut
- Pernod bemoans tough FY as sales, profits drop
- ASA bans Jägermeister TV ad
- Pernod Ricard set for CMO switch
- Scotch whisky leaders sign pro-UK letter
- Molson Coors appoints Europe CEO