16 October 2011

radio survey spam from koit

KOIT 96.5 mHz in San Francisco is a light rock radio station. In other words, they play bland background music for mindless suburban types. The only time I hear it is while at my dentist's office, where it is played continuously in every room. Me? I prefer to have my pain dulled with chemicals while getting my mouth checked.

On Friday, October 14, 2011, I received postal mail from a company called Impact Research in Newton Square, PA. It was addressed to me, without a single flaw in my name or address, so I decided to take a look. Maybe it was legitimate, or maybe they just got past my filters.

The sensation of pleasure was evident in my brain as I scanned the text: "Dear Bay Area Radio Listener"... "radio listening preferences"... "help shape local radio programming"... "listen to your assigned station for at least one hour"... "you will be entered into a drawing"... "the station you have been assigned to listen to is KOIT at 96.5 FM".

Well, I never put any faith in drawings for $1000, but I was curious enough to follow through. I googled for "impact research" "newton square", and found articles berating it as a marketing ploy to boost Arbitron ratings:

• http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/chicago-media-blog/7542655/believe-it-or-not-fake-survey-brings-real-ratings-to-rewind

• http://boards.radio-info.com/smf/index.php/topic,154247.0.html

Plus, the enclosed "no postage necessary if mailed in the United States" postcard included fields for my name and address. So if I tried to enter the drawing for a modest stack of cash, some marketing firm could run wild with my contact information. Maybe I'd get invited to enter more bogus surveys.

Photos of the junk mail I received:

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