Ipso post facto

Ipso post facto

Like too many political campaigns, some in the media industry are promoting falsehoods to fit a biased agenda. With ample evidence, BARB’s Joe Lewis sets the record straight

We live in a strange new world. In politics, in media, fact and truth have been replaced with mis-truth and hearsay. Of course we are used to publishers and advertising practitioners alike trying to push an angle to suit their own commercial interests. But where in the past this was driven by sound and robust research, today we are driven by assumption and at times ignorance, with a message repeated ad infinitum, until it exists in our mind-set as reality.

At a recent conference, a senior planner from a respectable media agency stood on the platform and stated to my surprise “of course young people prefer to watch TV on their smartphones these days”. This statement was met with no challenge or counter. But let’s think about it: young people ‘prefer’ to watch TV on their mobiles.

I guess it must be that tremendous immersive environment you get on a 4-inch screen or the fantastic shared viewing experience that only a smartphone can offer. He’s stated it as fact, so it must be true. Those young people don’t want a 40-inch ultra HD screen; they prefer to watch everything on their smartphones. Glad that’s been sorted out.

As is often the case, it was a statement made as fact, but lacking evidence, to suit the particular narrative. I sat there quietly scoffing under my breath but also allowing the narrative to go un-objected as many in the audience nodded away. Surely someone else in the room will put this guy right? They didn’t.


It’s time we stopped allowing misconceptions to manifest into fact. Let’s start with television viewing. As mentioned, the misconception is that people are turning away from the TV set – some people ‘prefer’ smaller screens after all. But is that true? If we only look at traditional 7-day TV viewing, then we do see declines.

… read on at mediatel.co.uk.

Originally posted by Joe Lewis at Mediatel Newsline
14th December 2016

For another view on how media people can sometimes lose perspective with data, listen to this exchange from the recent asi International Television & Video Conference in Budapest: click here to watch the video.