Star of The Apprentice and serial entrepreneur Lord Sugar has been the subject of thousands of searches as people try to peek into his finances. Who are these data miners? Fans, haters, journalists and other businesses hoping to discover the secret to his success in the figures, no doubt.
Also under scrutiny are the Dragons’ Den lot: Duncan Bannatyne, new Dragon Hilary Devey, James Caan, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis are all in the top ten. Simon Cowell, Rangers boss Craig Whyte and Richard Branson have also made an appearance in this year’s ranking. Britain is definitely a nation of telly addicts: Whyte and Branson are the only business people in the top ten not appearing regularly on the box.
Outside of the top ten, it’s still a reality TV love-in. Michael Norcross, TOWIE star and owner of the Sugarhut Nightclub appears in 11th place while Katie Price edges in at number 21. No sign of Peter Andre, however…
As for the rest of the top 25, it’s a mixed bag. From parents to the future Queen, Carole Middleton (16) and Michael Middleton (22), to the UK’s most enterprising footballers Wayne Rooney (12), David Beckham (16) and Rio Ferdinand (20), a whole raft of celebrities with business interests have been heavily searched.
After crunching the data on most searched for company, Tesco emerges as the most popular firm. But it’s not just successful multi-nationals taking poll position. Holloway White Allom and Hulse (Electrical Contractors), both of which entered administration within the last 12 months, also make it to the top 10. Overall, construction was the most searched for industry – unsurprising given the economic climate and rising number of companies going out of business in the sector.
Creditsafe director David Knowles reckons he’s got the inside track on why these people and companies are so popular for credit searches. ‘Tesco is bound to inspire and intrigue in equal measure,’ he says. ‘And with reality television shows centred around entrepreneurship such as The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den securing huge audiences it is no wonder that the ‘real’ business people helming these programmes are being researched by other business leaders, managers and credit controllers.’
MT’s off to have a nose around a few slebs itself now. We’ll report back if we find anything interesting.