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Anorak | Thorpe Park and the chocolate boffins: when PR is presented as science fact

Thorpe Park and the chocolate boffins: when PR is presented as science fact

by | 7th, May 2012

SCIENCE you can’t argue with: news is that taking rides on rollercoaster – such as the new Swarm ride at Thorpe Park in Surrey!!! – produces “astonishing” health benefits. Wow!

The Press Association reports that neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis has made an amazing discovery. He tells us:

“While the immediate euphoric buzz generated by the flood of feelgood chemicals released into the rider’s brain and body seem likely to fade fairly rapidly, more subtle effects may well exert their influence for far longer.”

You might feel thrilled for longer. You can’t argue with the doctor. It’s just facts!

The expert has more. Rollercoasters are good for your heart – maybe:

Anyone who is suffering from short-term stress could find that rides increased their self-confidence and reduced their levels of anxiety, he said.

The Thorpe Park regulations tell us:

13. Thorpe accepts no responsibility for any loss and or damage arising (including that which might arise as a result of any breach of contract) including any distress, inconvenience or anxiety caused during the course of any ride or exhibit undertaken and/or during evacuation from such a ride or exhibit in the event of breakdown, fire or security precaution.

You want more scientific fact? Well, the PA reports that rollercoasters are great for making love – maybe:

A couple who ride together may also find that it strengthens their mutual attraction, he added.

C’mon. What do you have to lose? (The entrance fee? Your life? Your appointment at the doctor’s?) Pop along to Thorpe Park and give it a whirl.

What the PA’s article does not say is that Dr David Lewis is “founder and Director of Research at the independent research consultancy Mindlab International”. It says so on his website, which also bodly states:

“Dubbed the ‘father of neuromarketing’ for his pioneering studies of analysing brain activity for research and commercial purposes…”

He’s an expert for hire. He’s the author or such books as Helping Your Anxious Child. Maybe by taking junior to Thorpe Park could cure him? Or make him worse?

Mindlab’s boffins were there before in 2010, to experience Thorpe Park’s Steal Ride,the one they call “Europe’s highest and fastest rollercoaster”.

Mindlab, you might be amazed to know, work with Thorpe Park .The Mindlab is “funded by members of the food industry”, including chocolate vendors. You might have seen their work in the BBC report:

Dr Lewis said: “There is no doubt that chocolate beats kissing hands down when it comes to providing a long-lasting body and brain buzz. A buzz that, in many cases, lasted four times as long as the most passionate kiss.”

It all might be true, of course. Thorpe Park rides may make you happier, make your child less anxious and improve your sex life. But why not make the commercial relationship between the media-friendly expert and the client more open?



Posted: 7th, May 2012 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink