In the opaque factory of the polls

By Luc Bronner

Posted today at 05h47

Over the past six weeks, I have responded to over 200 surveys. Finally, let’s be precise, it was my avatars who were solicited and who responded to the surveys proposed by the most prestigious institutes operating in France: Ipsos, IFOP, Kantar, BVA, OpinionWay, Harris Interactive, GfK… For one, I called me Ludivine. For another, Karim, Louis or Geraldine. Depending on the case, I am 19 years old, 26 years old, 47 years old, 73 years old. I said I live in the Parisian suburbs as well as in Brittany, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region or the Grand-Est. I presented myself as a man or a woman, employee, retiree, teacher or liberal profession, craftsman or technician.

From a dozen accounts registered under fake identities, I answered countless questions about my eating habits, clothing, politics, my income, my health, my tastes, my last purchases, my cars. , my cats and dogs, my children. I invented answers on disposable lighters, drawings of baby pacifiers, a future advertisement for the Système U brand, the packaging of Lindt chocolates, the slogans of Orange Bank, MAIF or Meetic, the image of Air France, movie trailers to be released in March 2022, the qualities of British actors Robert Pattinson or Benedict Cumberbatch, the best ketchups, the best sex toys, the personal image of Michel-Edouard Leclerc, the vaccine policy French, craft beers, sunscreens, a French comedy that should be called Medellin, the cast of the future Amazon series The Peripheral, but also on Yannick Jadot, Anne Hidalgo, Michel Barnier, Xavier Bertrand, the Congress of Republicans, Eric Zemmour, Emmanuel Macron and the presidential election.

Less expensive studies

Behind the communication of the polling institutes, which have institutes only in name and are marketing research companies whose main activity is to answer the orders of the companies on their strategy and even more on their image, hides a particularly opaque system: the use of consumer panels, recruited on the Internet, without any real control or regulation, in exchange for modest remuneration, to give their opinions on every conceivable subject. Tools that have become decisive both in the conduct of public policies by States and in the battle of electoral campaigns, and in particular that of the presidential election.

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