‘Tis the season for top ten lists, and manipulation of top ten lists


A few years ago, Marketplace radio reported on the sub-industry of top ten lists, specifically the lists intended to be used as gift guides. Marketing companies drool over these lists, since placement on them can mean a tremendous boost in sales, and they're anxious to do whatever it takes to get on the list. For example, The Da Vinci Code was a relatively unknown title until the American Booksellers Assocation placed it on their own "best picks" list.

In the story, c|net comes off looking good, standing their ethical ground against marketers looking for an endorsement. The Today Show doesn't fare as well.

On the Media reports on the subject as well.

Comments (6)
  1. Tom says:

    Which is where "The DaVinci Code" should have stayed – it’s one of the worst books I’ve ever read…

  2. e.thermal says:

    Tom, i couldn’t agree more.

  3. Merus says:

    "In the story, c|net comes off looking good, standing their ethical ground against marketers looking for an endorsement."

    Which is terribly ironic seeing as they’ve just fired their editor-in-chief of the Gamespot division for daring to give a bad review to the game that had advertising plastered all over the site. (c|net maintains that he was fired for ‘concerns about tone’, even though the timking is suspicious and his staff are all making noises suggesting that the rumours surrounding the reason for his departure are true.)

  4. Jon says:

    I’m not sure marketers drool over getting on every list, I know of atleast one I’m sure they’d prefer to not be on:

    http://www.wired.com/gadgets/gadgetreviews/multimedia/2007/12/YE_Vaporware

    You have to wonder if Duke Nukem Forever isn’t just an elaborate joke like History of the World Part II.

  5. Worf says:

    Wait until a toy with a rabid fanbase gets onto the #1 of the top-10 toys.

    Yes, I’m talking about Transformers, which is big this year (no doubt due to the $700M grossing film (box office, world wide)). #1 is an expensive toy to get a kid (Transformers Ultimate Bumblebee), which nudged out the Nintendo Wii (now #2).

    End result is that said toy is now ultra-hard to find everywhere except eBay. For a toyline that already suffers from scalping and such, it  just makes it all that much harder to buy (especially since both adults *and* kids want it).

    Honestly, I’ve seen a few, then the instant I saw the list come out, they disappear pretty darned quick.

    So besides being the company’s best dream to get on these lists, it apparently is also the scalper’s dream list as well…

  6. Cooney says:

    You have to wonder if Duke Nukem Forever isn’t just an elaborate joke like History of the World Part II.

    nah, HOTW2 wasn’t all that elaborate, although I did like the spaceballs flamethrower (kid at heart)

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