OPINION22 June 2010

Is anyone not in the dog house?

We look at the trouble makers of the World Cup and find out whether watching the tournament at work will gets us sent home ahead of time just like Robbie Earle and Nicolas Anelka.

Everywhere you look there is trouble, and it’s mostly off the pitch (I’m excluding all the Australian red cards in that); footballers, pundits and fans… nobody is safe.

We’ve got France’s Nicolas Anelka sent home with his tail between his legs and England’s John Terry making a “big mistake” in questioning the team’s training and tactics (just you wait until manager Fabio Capello gets you home, young man). Then there’s pundit Robbie Earle departing ITV nice and early for allegedly giving away his complimentary tickets that somehow ended up in the hands of some Dutch women in small dresses, and Emmanuel Adebayor failing to keep his phone on silent in the BBC studio. Finally we’ve got those Dutch women being dragged out the stadium by the scruff of their necks for ambush marketing, and our England fan Pavlos Joseph who just wanted to use the toilet but ended up in front of a South African judge for trespassing in the English team’s changing room.

So have our World Cup Panel been struggling with the rules or have they been playing ball? Well, they’re all football fanatics, and every fanatic has to have their daytime live football fix. It’s alright for the South Koreans and Australians as it’s all evening and early morning kickoffs, but the rest are up to all sorts. The Portuguese are using discreet office mini TVs to keep up to date, the French are streaming from the internet hidden behind spreadsheets and the Germans are taking extra long lunch breaks in the bar.

But overall we seem to have quite a number of understanding bosses, clients and end-clients (depending on how far along the food chain we are). The French and North Americans have specially converted boardrooms for football viewing – but spend more than 15 consecutive minutes in there at your peril – and the Slovakians are working on flexi-time. The South African’s have the freest reign to watch, as you’d expect, and there are even reports of the odd BBQ on Wednesday afternoon here in England for the Slovenia showdown.

So with all this play, does research slow down in a World Cup? Viewing facility bookings are down as quallies avoid running focus groups when no-one will turn up, but if our panel’s schedules (and mine) are anything to go by the answer is definitely no! It seems the world accelerates as fast as Spain’s David Villa in the last quarter, and like every good defender we need to track those (advertising) runs… it just means more late nights after the final whistle.

In the dog house or not, some of us are certainly working like dogs.



13 years ago

Nice article Michael. Suggest you re-check time-zones though! We Antipodeans are severely sleep deprived as we try to follow the World game. WC Matches for those of us in Sydney kick-off at 12 midnight, 2.00am and 4.30am. In terms of focus group activity, we appear to be operating at steady levels, albeit somewhat below recent peaks in April/May. That said we struggle more when there major midweek Rugby League fixtures (high no-show rates amongst men). We are also leading up to the end of our Financial Year which can also have an impact. C’mon England…. Mike Beder, Managing Director, Qualitative Recruitment Australia

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13 years ago

Hi Mike... as I said though "early mornig kick offs" for Australia. I remember being in Sydney when Spurs were playing Man United in the Carling Cup final in 2009... that 3am kick off was tough for work the next day (not even including the loss I had to deal with!)

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