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Alcohol Poll-Itics

I’m guessing you’ve read the Poll.  Yes, that one.  Australia’s Annual Alcohol Poll.

It landed on my desk this morning.

Australia has spoken, or so they tell us…except Australia hasn’t spoken, as much as whispered.

Do you hear that muffled noise? Quiet! Listen again…that feint distant sound you hear…that’s the supposed ‘voice of Australia’.

Here’s the thing. Polls are simply not representative of Australia. Seriously, who has the time or inclination to take part in a poll, online or otherwise?

The desperately lonely for starters. When not falling over themselves to invite Jehovah’s Witnesses and vacuum cleaner salesmen in for a cup of tea and a bit of a chat, these are the same people gladly accepting unsolicited calls from overseas call centres and agreeing to take part in the latest poll.

I’m sorry, but that’s just not right. In fact it’s downright un-Australian. It’s understood and accepted that when Raj from Delhi rings and interrupts you, slap bang in the middle of your steak and chip dinner, your glass of Shiraz raised to your lips; it’s not just socially acceptable, it’s compulsory to swear like you’re on the set of Underbelly and hang up the phone.

That, and when Jocelyn from Marketing enters my office without knocking first. Seriously, it was 5pm on a Friday. What did she expect to see?

Now I know what you’re thinking. The pollsters didn’t just cold call these Australians; they used a permission-based panel. From what I can gather, that means the respondents had already put their hand up and volunteered up front in the hope that they could take part in multiple surveys.

Multiple surveys? Now that’s keen.  Again, I have to ask, who are these people?  Isn’t volunteering for multiple surveys akin to volunteering for multiple wars? I would have thought one would be more than enough. Quite frankly, I’d far rather stab my hand with a fork.

Then there’s the sad but true fact that Aussies can’t answer questions to save themselves.  I queue behind these half-wits on a daily basis at the coffee cart in the AIL lobby.

They break into a cold sweat just trying to choose which size cup they want, let alone their actual coffee order.  Then Sharon, the trainee barista asks them for a name for their order and they look at her with this fixed empty gaze and you can see they hadn’t anticipated this question. They glance up at the menu board again…pause for a second and then repeat their order. Just this morning, Gerald from Accounts whispered ‘flat white?’ in response to that very question and I swear to god, I almost hit him.

Admit it, Australians don’t know how to correctly answer questions.  They can barely tick a box correctly. How else to explain why QLD Labor spent 20 of the last 22 years in power.

That’s not to say the poll is all bad.  I’ve shot the consumption trends and demographic results down to the boys in Marketing. Turns out, not only is the data useful, but we might even be able to sack one of our own researchers and save a little money.

Bradman St Peters

Since accepting his appointment to lead Alcohol Industry Lobby (AIL), Australia in 2011, Bradman St Peters has lent his considerable weight to the cause of the Australian Alcohol Industry. St Peters has a lifetime of alcohol experience under his belt. After completing an intensive Brewing, Science & Engineering Certificate at the now defunct Burnie Institute of Technology and World Brewing Academy, St Peters, 5th in his class, entered the industry as an apprentice brewer at the Devenport Distillery. He was destined not to remain an apprentice brewer for long and less than four years after first punching his time card at the distillery he was promoted to Line Supervisor. Two short years later he was singled out for higher duties in Logistics and Distribution, before landing permanently in a senior management role. A father of two, St Peters is a connoisseur of Belgian Cigars, and a collector of rare Kenyan handcrafted ashtrays.


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