Monday, February 18, 2013

Irresponsible Polling Developments on "Responsible Resource Development"

Interesting report from Canadian Press on the government's advertising campaign on "Responsible Resource Development" in more ways than one: "Light on facts, heavy on patriotism, focus groups help hone NRCan advertising." Two things here...

Natural Resources hired Leger Marketing to do some research on the government's advertising messages, as the report notes. OK. Further down, however, you read that CAPP, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, met with senior Environment Canada officials and provided them with a CAPP-commissioned poll by Harris-Decima that indicated how voters were receiving CAPP's own ads. Notably, the CAPP poll provided the government with a breakdown of how their ads were going over with voters identified along partisan lines, among Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats. So the government officials could see how partisan leaners would respond to certain advertising.

Why is this interesting? Government public opinion research must be non-partisan. But here, the government was able to access partisan-oriented research.

Second, Postmedia obtained this information via a federal access to information request. Guess CAPP's stuff made its way in there enough to be covered by the request.

All not appropriate. Some official types should look into this.

Wonder what kind of ads we'll see if Obama ties carbon legislation to approval of Keystone...