I wonder how many press releases cite correlative data vs. causal data? Although we want a press release to say ‘foo, so bar’, I suspect a lot of them say ‘foo, and bar’ and let you draw the conclusion that a company’s new product, service, or performance has actually caused an outcome, as opposed to being just correlated with it, maybe being nothing more than a convenience coincidence for an aggressive marketer.

Such a press release would read something like:

It was no surprise to us that Obama won the election, we sold more Rocky Road ice-cream this quarter than any in our company’s history.

This trick only works because our brains are so fundamentally designed to look for connections between things, marketers would be silly not to exploit that.