Professor Richard Tol, the seventeenth sexiest professor of economics in the United Kingdom (and second in beard of the year to Jeremy Corbyn), has just finished his latest consensus study. He claims to have demonstrated that eight out of ten cats do not prefer Whiskas.
Tol, who says he has done some calculations on the back of a sleeve from a second hand copy of the DVD of the blockbuster movie Gremlins which, ignoring the odd plus or minus sign, demonstrate that although several thousand cats were interviewed by the manufacturers, the responses of three hundred cats were ignored, which might have skewed the results by a tiny fraction.
"I believe that the consensus among cats is 80%" says Tol, "but the makers of Whiskas have made some serious methodological errors in their survey. Not only that, but I shall not rest until there has been a complete retraction of this advert and an apology issued. I shall be putting my case both forcefully and frivolously on any number of blogs and websites, includes andThenThere'sKitekat and HotFelix. I won't care that I will be quoted by anti-feline sites such as What'sUpWithCatnip or by Judith Catty."
Tol continued, at some length: "When I resigned from the International Panel On Cat Chow (IPCC) in a huff the other year, I laid my reputation on the line. I spent a long time questioning fundamental assumptions about cat food choices - whether they would benefit from wet or dry food, chicken or rabbit flavor, that sort of thing - and realized that, even though the number is probably right, if the method is wrong, the advert is wrong. An advert is just a procedure after all. It isn't anything that might actually be legal, honest and truthful."
We contacted the manufacturers of Whiskas for a comment. Here is their statement in full: "Who?"