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Work in the media? Struggle with statistics? Stan's irreverent (and often irrelevant) review of the latest media reports, news and gossip may not help at all... Stan the Statistician

Stan # 101: Chocolate Ears make Easter Tweets June 2014


My very first Desktop opened with a reference to the Market Research Society so I thought that my nod to the past should include another reference to that honourable profession. From, ‘The Marketer’ magazine, here are some festive facts.

1. Every Easter, 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made and, according to a survey by the National Confectioners Association, 76 percent of people believe the ears should be eaten first.

2. Every Christmas, Brits serve up around 10 million turkeys to families and friends. In the US, however, where Thanksgiving is also celebrated with a roast turkey, about 60 million turkeys are eaten annually.

3. The UK’s first chocolate Easter egg was produced in 1973 by Fry’s Chocolate in Bristol but the market didn’t pick up until a way was found to pour chocolate into moulds.

4. Perhaps unsurprisingly, White Christmas by Bing Crosby is the biggest selling single of all time, with 50 million copies sold worldwide. Silent Night is second, with 30 million global sales. Band Aid’s Do They Know it’s Christmas is third. In many countries, the answer would be, ‘no’ as Christmas is celebrated at times other than 25 December. As single sales have been replaced by downloads and filesharing, these records will never be beaten.

5. Hot cross buns were amongst the first Easter treats. They were made by European monks for the poor during Lent.

6. Ten new candy Love Heart sayings are added every year to keep up with the latest trends. Recent additions have included, “Text Me”, “Tweet Me”, and “Luv 24/7”. The sweets have been in production since 1933 and many of the original sayings are still in use, including, “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me”.

7. Teachers receive the most Valentines cards (good to know kids are still creeps - Stan), followed by children, mums and wives (who may be the same people). No adult males notice in the top groups. Most teachers are female especially in primary schools.

8.According to the Pew Research Centre, more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. Guilt?

9. Samhainophobia is the irrational and persistant fear of Halloween. Symptoms may include feelings of anxiety, nausea or dizziness. I have a rational fear of Halloween - armies of weirdly dressed kids demanding money with menaces.

10. Black and orange are Halloween’s trademark colours. Orange symbolises strength and stands for the harvest and autumn. Black, not surprisingly is typically a symbol for death and darkness and acts as a reminder that Halloween originated as a pagan festival that marked the boundaries between life and death.

In 2012, shoppers spent £64.9bn during the Christmas period. Easter is second with a miserly £3.6bn with Mother’s Day at £409m, Halloween, £315m, Valentine’s Day, £308m and Father’s Day at a mere £200m. Note that this is half of what is spent on Mother’s Day. Whatever happened to equality?

The average woman in the UK owns 20 pairs of shoes and yet has only one pair of feet.

Newspaper readers are more likely to "stay married" to their newspaper than their spouse, WAN-IFRA's World Advertising Forum in Torino heard last week.


Check in again at my desk soon!

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