Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 28, 2011

Percentage of consumers who plan to delay back-to-school spending, banking instead on last-minute offers, according to shopping website PriceGrabber: 49

In 2010, percentage of shoppers who said they were leaving their back-to-school purchases until the last minute: 38


Percentage of U.S. adults who believe that anonymity on the Internet has made us less civil, according to the results from an IBOPE-Zogby poll: 60

Percentage of people who say anonymity on the Internet has to go away -- that people behave a lot better when they have their real names down: 21

Percentage of respondents who believe that requiring real names suppresses dialogue about important topics: 49

Source: Zogby International.

Percentage of U.S. consumers who agree they "have become a much smarter shopper thanks to today's economic situation," according to a Ypartnership/Harrison Group survey: 77

Among leisure travelers who have used the Internet to obtain travel information or to make a reservation, percentage who say the most desirable feature in a travel-service supplier website is the ability to check the lowest fares/rates: 84

Source: Ypartnership Public Relations.

Average value of a 1- to 3-year-old used vehicle in 2008, according to the Kelley Blue Book: $15,000

In response to supply reductions due to the recession, average value of a 1- to 3-year-old used vehicle in 2011, an average increase of nearly 16 percent each year: $23,000

Source: Kelley Blue Book.

Percentage of consumers who would be willing to sacrifice some convenience and provide an additional level of authentication online (something in addition to a password) before accessing their bank or investment account if the process provided greater security, according to a Zogby Interactive survey of U.S. adults: 78

Percentage of consumers who said they believe banks -- not government -- are "most responsible" for securing customers' financial assets: 66

Source: Booz Allen Hamilton.

Percentage of parents who are looking to education loans to pay for their children's college -- most of which will be signed over to their children, according to the fifth annual College Savings Foundation survey of parents: 48

Percentage of these loans that will take from five to beyond 20 years to pay off: 68

Percentage of parents who expect to cobble together some funds from current income: 60

Source: College Savings Foundation.

Number of barrels of oil consumed per day globally in 2010, an all-time high, according to a Vital Signs Online report from the Worldwatch Institute: 87.4 million

Percentage annual increase this represents, making up for the brief decline in consumption caused by the economic crisis: 3.1

Percentage of the increase in consumption that came from China, which now uses over 10 percent of the world's oil: 33

Source: WorldWatch Institute.

Percentage of companies that believe that open office plans -- which cause staff to be more visible to one another -- generally promote improved ethical behavior when compared to having individual offices, according to a survey conducted by Ethisphere Institute and Jones Lang LaSalle: 81

Percentage of respondents implementing open workspace that have not had any visible ethical violations within the past two years: 64

Source: Jones Lang LaSalle.

Percentage of British women who said they started to consider cosmetic surgery between the ages of 10 and 15, according to a survey by Liberate Cosmetic Surgery: 25

Percentage who had considered cosmetic surgery between the ages of 15 and 18: 33

Source: Liberate Cosmetic Surgery.

Percentage of marketers, communications experts and researchers from 40 countries convened at a conference in Dublin, Ireland, who indicated they believe that social marketing is at a critical turning point in driving social change, according to participants at the 2nd World Non-Profit and Social Marketing Conference (WSMC): 84

Percentage of respondents who feel that social marketing is widely used in their country to drive social and behavior change: 31

Percentage who report that it is somewhat widely used: 53

Source: Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

Idle Thought

"It is fortunate to be of high birth, but it is no less so to be of such character that people do not care to know whether you are or are not." -- Jean de la Bruyere, essayist and moralist

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)