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August1991

Non-Racial Profiling

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The old line in advertising is that half of the PR budget is wasted; sadly, no one knows which half. 

Years ago, I recall a colleague who ran a property management business on the side. Before the Internet, he was the equivalent of AirBnB. On behalf of owners who didn't need their place, he found and collected rent from people who needed a place to live. When he described all this to me, I remember saying: "About 30% of the renters must be a nightmare. They don't pay."

I recall his response: "In fact, it's about 10%. And it's both renters and owners who cause nightmares. But here's the real problem, you don't know who they are beforehand."

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A marketing guy once told me about the 90/10/0 rule: one third of customers buy 90% of your product; one third buy 10% and one third will never buy. Those numbers probably apply to cigarettes, booze, peanuts, cars, cinema/airline tickets. In Canada, about 30% of people never buy a house. Dunno.

Much marketing aims for 1/3 of people who will buy most, with a message to the other 1/3 of people who buy little - but sadly and irritatingly it includes the 1/3 of people who will never buy. Confused? Think of those ubiquitous SUV/truck ads.  (About 25% of adult Canadians do not have a driver's license.)

So what does this have to do with "racial" profiling? Everything.

I reckon that the police stop/search potential criminals the same way that Ford/Audi advertise cars: stupidly and wastefully.

It may be true that most criminals are males; but arresting/interrogating all males is a wasteful, stupid way to find a criminal. It irritates and is an injustice to honest males.

IOW, how to identify the 1/3 of the population causing 90% of the problem?

 

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14 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

Simple: use digital media to target your segment.

Digital media is a waste of time and money. It's mostly bots making it look effective. There's no oversight.

 

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