"New research shows that London is the world's best city for XYZ!"
How many times have you seen a headline like that? Behind every one is a press release. They're put out by travel companies, pet food brands, betting websites, car firms and anyone else who wants to see their brand appear in the news.
The research is often poor, with tiny sample sizes, leading questions and cherry-picked analysis. Occasionally, it's done well and is genuinely quite interesting. Very rarely does it meet the kind of threshold where we'd publish it. Which is a shame because we're emailed dozens of these things every month.
So, just for a laugh, we thought we'd round up the best and worst from the past four weeks (without mentioning the brands). Take each one with London's biggest pinch of salt.
What we learned about London's boroughs this month
- Lambeth is the borough whose roads need the most maintenance (according to a driving school)
- Westminster consumes more energy than any other London Borough (according to an electric car leasing service)
- Westminster has the most electric vehicle charge points of any UK area (according to an electric car leasing service)
- Westminster is the most expensive place in the UK to own a car, with the City second (according to a motor insurance company who use 'City of London' and 'London' interchangeably)
- Westminster is the most burgled area in London (according to an insurance company)
- Bexley is the least burgled area in London (according to an insurance company)
- Tower Hamlets is the best borough for home working; the City is the worst (according to a 'digital tool provider')
- Richmond-upon-Thames is London's greenest borough, and the greenest area in the UK (according to an electric car company)
What we learned about London this month
- London is the biggest suntrap in the UK! (according to an online betting company)
- London ranks 69th in a list of cities wanting to give up smoking (according to a rehab company)
- London is the sixth best European city for foodies to visit this Easter (according to a luggage storage company)
- London is the best city in the world for music lovers this year (according to a persistent luggage storage company)
- London is the origin of more bands and (music) artists than any other UK city (according to an online betting company)
- London is the third worst city in the UK for traffic accidents (according to an insurance company)
- Londoners have the most desirable accents in the UK (according to an online language learning company)
- More people cook from recipes in London than anywhere else in the UK (according to a seafood company)
- London has the fourth most-instagrammable festival in the UK (according to hashtag research by a fashion brand)
- London is the UK city that is 13th-most interested in being healthy (according to research by a fitness website)
- London is the joint-11th best place in the world for overseas students to study (according to a student portal)
- London is the second most expensive city in which to buy a property (according to a Forex company)
- 77% of Londoners are planning to attend a street party for the Coronation (according to an online supermarket)