Over egging it

I am all for the use of technology to make life easier for all but there are times when the use of high tech solutions seems just daft to me.

Yesterday Tesco announced that it has completed a roll-out of thermal imaging technology to “monitor and improve our checkout service better than ever before.” What has happened to the check-out captain? Quite frankly, I can stand in any supermarket check-out queue and know whether they need to open more by just using my eyes. Or, is it that Tesco stores are now so vast that mere mortals do not have the ability to see from one end of the checkouts to the other?

The story struck me in the same way that articles do that begin “researchers have found that …” and you just know that someone has spent years and money on discovering something that the rest of us regard as ‘bleeding obvious.” Such as school children prefer chips to salad at lunchtime
95% of people whose handbags are stolen are women (the other 5% are??) and, one of my favourites, that the majority of women prefer chocolate to sex.

The thing is that stories like this are bread and butter for the average PR. All these stories grab the headlines, which is what they are intended to do, and we all read them, tut and pass on to the next one. Give me a few juicy statistics or an oddball story and I would be up there pushing it with the best of them – just hoping that it was not picked up by Ben Goldacre.

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