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June 21st, 2012

Panda PR tells us avast! – and 7 others – rank better than “best”


A press release from Panda Security, dated June, 21, 2012, properly goes straight to the point in its headline:

Panda Internet Security 2012 Ranks as Best-Performing Antivirus in Recent AV-Comparatives Evaluation


What the headline and accompanying ‘news’ fail to mention is that Panda scored among best-performing antivirus software in the AV-Comparatives test, but still only tied F-Secure for seventh (7th) place – coming in under Tencent (6th), Qihoo (5th), AVIRA and Sophos (tied for 4th), ESET (3rd), avast! (2nd), and Webroot (1st).

Data/Image source: AV-Comparatives Performance Test Security Suites, June 2012


I’ve been involved in marketing communications for many years. Sure, it’s common in all industries for writers to shorten texts for Web use (I of course have to do this on now and then), and this tends to contribute toward less precision, which can result in ambiguities of this nature.

But in an official news PR, one would expect that this sort of data would be clear, as accurate information is most expected (and needed) by journalists and media outlets.

So I’ll go ahead and provide a more accurate headline for any journalists who would like to cover Panda’s PR. It only adds three (3) characters, which isn’t bad even for web text:

Panda Internet Security 2012 Ranks as Among Best-Performing Antivirus in Recent AV-Comparatives Evaluation


UPDATE (June 22, 2012): Panda corrected the above discrepancy within hours (see comment below).

  • Tech

    I just disagree with one phrase: “as accurate information is most expected (and needed) by journalists and media outlets”.
    I think users also deserve accurate information. Marketing should not foolish the user, never, never.

  • Panda

    Thanks for pointing this out Jason. It was due to poor translation from the original release in a different language. We’re fixing the headline to your exact proposal ;)

  • Jason Mashak

    You’re right. I’ve crossed out “most” above. My point was that clarity is easier in a PR with a few hundred words than it is on a webpage where text must be as short as possible (or you lose the modern attention span – within seconds). Now imagine how much brevity one needs on mobile screens… :D

  • Jason Mashak

    I’m glad to see it wasn’t intentional. BTW, whoever is handling your final text approval over there should add me on LinkedIn, and we can correct each other next time via back channel.

  • Panda

    @Jason Mashak it was supposed to be me, but for some reason the english version never crossed my desk so it went out wrong. LinkedIn request on its way! :)