BBC denies ‘pretty newsreader’ research


I love the myopia of market research; particularly when researchers make such an effort to believe what consumers say, rather than check what they actually do. Here’s an example recently reported on Research magazine’s website


Broadcaster denies acting on research showing that news bulletins must be read by young and attractive women.

UK — The BBC has denied reports it is acting upon market research findings showing that new ‘bite-size’ news bulletins for young viewers with short attention spans must only use young and attractive women presenters.

An insider reportedly told national newspaper the Daily Mail: “We were told that some market research had been done and that the audience likes pretty young women reading the news – so that’s what we are going to have.

“We were told this is not dumbing down – we are just connecting with our audience better.”

But a BBC spokesman later said there was no explicit mention of ‘pretty young women’ in the audience research – although he refused to say what it had said about the type of presenter viewers wanted.

“Audience research has, quite rightly, shaped our thinking but the presenters will be chosen because they are the best fit for the job and suit the needs of the audience at that time.”

Published on the 21st September 2007

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