Avoid the trite holiday price index stories

Phillip Blanchard urges editors to stay away from price survey stories that he believes  are meaningless. Blanchard writes:

The Farm Bureau Federation has been compiling its Thanksgiving shopping list for 26 years. By its own admission, as it says toward the end of its 2011 release, it’s useless: “While Farm Bureau does not make any scientific claims about the data, it is an informal gauge of price trends around the nation.” The numbers reflect prices gathered by “volunteer shoppers.”

Blanchard — who runs the Testy Copy Editors bulletin board — also is a grinch when it comes to the PNC Wealth Management’s annual price index of the gifts in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Imagine the man-hours wasted by graphic artists in their futile attempts to compellingly illustrate this trite publicity grab by PNC.

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