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But this ignores the performance of some of the other sweets – Snickers was 21% of people’s least favourite! Also, Twix had a rough day, with no one choosing it as their favourite, and 62% of people putting it in the bottom four. To highlight this, I created a points system, where if a sweet is chosen as someone’s first choice, it gets 8 points, second choice gets 7 and so on. When these are summed, we can see Twix doesn’t do much better than Bounty, with Twix scoring 178 points compared to Bounty’s 165:

So why hasn’t this sweet been targeted for removal? Maybe not being anyone’s favourite, but also not being anyone’s least favourite has kept it out of the firing line, while Bounty takes all the flak. This does give more evidence to the theory that Mars Wrigley have exploited Bounty’s problematic reputation for advertising exposure though – an issue that I am contributing to by writing this very article.

Now taking a step back to expose our biases – you may have noted that the four sweets I left at the bottom of the list in the initial ranking are much more likely to end up in people’s bottom four. This is likely due to people having a strong opinion on their favourites, spending more time on the top of the list, but not taking as much care with the bottom four, leaving the default options down there. There were a range of times taken to complete the survey (one respondent spending an agonising 6 hours on their choices), but I doubt the majority of this time was spent thinking which is worse out of two very similar tasting sweets.


In a very strange turn of events, since the release of the “No Bounty” tub, Mars Wrigley have enacted a new advertising campaign, entitled “#BringBackBounty”.[5] In short – despite their obvious bias, they are aware that the Bountyless tubs would cause controversy, and have produced a promotional video where an actor portraying the Bounty sweet (I can’t believe I’m writing these words either) is reunited with their fellow Celebrations, after the world called for the company to #BringBackBounty. This is backed up by a figure that, according to yet another Mars Wrigley survey, 58% of consumers would miss Bounty if it were removed from the tub. Here we have the almost inverse of the 39% figure from earlier being used to SUPPORT Bounties staying in the tub! (I assume some people could not give a yes or no answer on this pivotal issue, and are the missing 3%).

It is clear that Mars Wrigley have made a biased decision, in support of their own advertising goals. While they are not held to the same standards as actuaries are via the Actuaries’ Code, I believe they have done untold damage to the reputation of the Bounty with this campaign. The official tweet from Celebrations featuring this video only has 42 retweets[6], compared to the tweet announcing the removal of Bounty having 1,808 retweets. It turns out that facilitating a damaging campaign against your own brand is one genie that cannot be put back in the bottle, unlike Bounties which can be safely returned to the Celebrations tub if you do not like them. A lesson in the power of bias for us all.


So, in conclusion, there is a lot more to the issue than Bounty not being to everyone’s taste. Some people actually very much like the sweet, and will no doubt be disappointed this Christmas if someone has purchased a “No Bounty” tub. However, will they be afraid to speak up thanks to the societal bias against this sweet stoked by Mars Wrigley, in fear of becoming a Bounty pariah? Only time will tell, but I hope that after reading this you learn to see things from the side of a Bounty fan, and try to avoid bias in your own life. If not, then a future of Bountyless Christmases awaits us all.


James McConnell

January 2023

The changing shape of demand for APR’s services

* September 2019 IFoA wide results include only CM, CS, CB subjects, SP2, 5 & 6 and SA2

** April 2020 saw all CM and CS exams cancelled. APR staff normally perform well in these exams, causing a small dip

Looking at our results for individual exams, the APR pass rate exceeded the industry wide pass rate for every subject sat, with APR staff achieving 100% pass rates across 11 different subjects.



We’d like to congratulate all staff on the results of their hard work. However, particular mention goes to:

Jack Foley

July 2022


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