“Contraception is important because your partner is probably a cheat!” says online pharmacy

Europeans are most likely to cheat, while Americans take more risks with contraception: Surprising study reveals just how sexual preferences vary on each side of the pond

The Brits have long been famed for their stiff upper lip.

Americans, meanwhile, are thought to be more adventurous.

Now, new research proves the stereotypes to be false – in terms of attitudes to cheating, at least.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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It’s hard being European, what with all the constant promiscuous unprotected sex we’re all mandated to have all of the time. It’s a wonder anyone gets anything done – for example, it’s a wonder a PR company found the time in amongst all of the #shagging to put together this particular piece of PR for an online pharmacy:

The survey of 1,000 adults was carried out by DrEd.com – an online pharmacy and heath advice site.

What is it with online pharmacies using suspicion of cheating to get their names in the press? First it was Medexpress and their scaremongering over STIs, and then there was the less-prominent PR effort by UK Medix telling of the many lies partners tell to cover their cheating, and now this from Dr Ed.com. Is there really no other way to remind people that you can buy johnnies over the internet other than to make them think their partner is a STI-infected lying adulterer?

“It’s hard to limit your kids’ internet usage!” says internet usage limiting device

Gadgets ’cause eight million rows a day’ as two thirds admit they struggle to make their children put devices down

The nation’s families are having a combined eight million arguments a day over digital gadgets, a survey shows.

The biggest source of strife is parents feeling children are too absorbed by computers or tablets to communicate properly.

Two thirds admit they struggle to make their children put their devices down while nine out of ten youngsters are using smartphones or tablets before they turn eight.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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Children these days are digital devils, with even the sternest of parent falling foul of their child’s incessant internetting. Try to impose limits and you risk real wrath – what is a parent to do? Well, the company behind this particular piece of PR has a few ideas:

Research by HomeHalo, a parental internet control system, revealed one of the biggest causes of irritation was parents being ignored by their children when they’re online.

In case you’ve not heard of HomeHalo – and you won’t have done, because their PR has only stretched so far as yet – they sell products that parents can use to digitally restrict their kids’ internet usage:

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It’s pretty clear what HomeHalo are doing here: bigging up the size of the problem that their product is on hand to solve.

Louise Philips, of HomeHalo, added: ‘Although we can all see teenagers glued to their phones and tablets, the addiction begins much earlier.

‘It’s staggering that parents seem to understand the dangers – and are rightfully concerned – yet we appear powerless in addressing the issues.

‘It is a problem that is increasing and drawing in much younger children.’

Interesting to see talk of technology ‘addiction’ in an article featuring a psychologist, and it’s no surprise that it’s not the psychologist raising the phantom of tech addiction. There’s a good reason for that. Still, why let science get in the way of your PR scaremongering?

If only there was a device that limited PR people’s time on the internet…

“You should improve your home!” says home improvement company

Our dream house? It needs a wet room and a home cinema: Nearly half would opt for these improvements if they could add to their property

There was a time when crazy paving and avocado bathroom suites were seen as the must-have additions for your dream house.

But today’s homeowners are yearning for some rather more modern home improvements, with home cinemas and wet rooms now high on the wish-list, a study has found.

When asked what they would add to their house if they could, 44 per cent opted for a state-of-the-art entertainment zone with supersize screen and games consoles, just ahead of a wet room at 43 per cent.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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No longer is our home complete with a mere picket fence, conservatory and fractional children, now we can’t rest until our abodes are crammed with niche features like cinemas and wet rooms. How our ambition has grown! But with the ambitious home improvement plans we all definitely 100% absolutely have, we’ll need the support of a PR-spouting home improvement company, I’d imagine:

The survey of over 2,000 homeowners, commissioned by Anglian Home Improvements, looked at how our tastes in home improvements and the way in which we use our homes have changed over the past 50 years.

Anglian Home Improvements are just the company I’m thinking of, I guess. We know this, because they’re company who placed this particular piece of PR into the national news.

Melanie McDonald at Anglian Home Improvements, said: ‘It is interesting to observe just how much our tastes and preferences have changed in a relatively short amount of time. One thing is for sure — the desire to improve our homes has increased over the years as homeowners seek to make their homes warmer, more comfortable and more energy efficient.’

If there’s one thing that’s for sure it’s that Anglian’s desire for improvements stops at home, as they clearly have no concern for the degrading state of the national press while they use newspapers to publicise their adverts.

“People don’t know how to pronounce things they’ve read but not heard!” says audiobook company

Half of us don’t know how to say Don Quixote: Character tops list of literary names we struggle to pronounce correctly

Don Quixote, Daenerys Targaryen and Oedipus have topped a poll of literary names people struggle to say correctly.

The study follows Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s recent disclosure that Voldemort is actually pronounced ‘Vol-De-Mor’ with a silent T.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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People struggle to pronounce words from books if they’ve only ever seen them written down and never heard them pronounced aloud. If only there were a way for us to hear books read out to us, so we can avoid this potentially-embarrassing situation…

A survey of 2,000 people aged 18-65, conducted by digital audiobook retailer Audible, found that 39 per cent have pronounced the names of literary characters incorrectly.

Sometimes picking apart PR stories in the press is almost too easy – few stories are as blatant and transparent as this one. And that’s before you factor in the obligatory quote from the company spokesperson to really ram the point home:

Laurence Howell, director of Audible UK, said: ‘Book series such as Game of Thrones include some incredibly tricky names, which readers often get wrong for a number of reasons.

‘Listening to the audiobook performed by a professional narrator gives you the advantage of hearing the names as the author intended.’

Thank you for stating the hook of this PR piece so clearly, Laurence. The only way you could make the angle any clearer is if you came around to my house and read the article aloud…

 

“People like getting little surprises!” says telecomms company launching their new promotion

Misery time? 11.17am today: Monday mornings are the time of the week we feel unhappiest – but we’ve cheered up by 2.35pm

If you’re feeling a bit blue today, you’re not alone – 11.17am on a Monday morning is the time of the week Britons feel unhappiest, a survey has found.

Research has revealed that less than a quarter of us are happiest before midday – but we cheer up in the afternoon, peaking at 2.35pm.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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Is quarter-past-eleven on a Monday morning really our most unhappy part of the week? I know it is for me, because that’s roughly when I’ve had a chance to wade through the last few days’ of news, and by then I’m usually drowning in PR. PR like this glorified-advert for telecomms company Plusnet:

The survey, for broadband provider Plusnet, found that nine in ten people believe that it only takes a small thing to salvage a bad day.

So while the lead of the article is about how unhappy we are, the real hook of the story is the little things that can pull us out of a slump… little things like, apparently, “stumbling across a bargain”.

Andy Baker, Plusnet Chief Executive added: ‘At Plusnet we understand the importance of giving back to our customers and know it’s the small things that make a big difference.

‘Our £LovesYouBack campaign is encouraging the nation to give a little back to those around us – as our research shows, it could make someone’s day.’

It’s fair to say the Daily Mail have taken up Plusnet’s challenge to give something to someone: they’ve elected to give Plusnet space in a national newspaper where they can pretend their advert is news.

Also, nice to see media-friendly PR psychologist Jo Hemmings popping up to prop up the advert with the illusion of science, as a little extra PR bonus.

“People waste their money and are rubbish at saving!” says loan company

Here’s where your high street morning coffee costs the most: Starbucks comes out on top at £663 a year followed by M&S… while Wetherspoons is the cheapest at £250

Some prefer it black, others like it flat and white and there are those who add a myriad of syrups , foams and flavourings to it.

Whichever way you look at it coffee is a big business with UK consumers drinking 70 million cups a day – a habit which adds up to a £730 million annual caffeine spend.

But by simply switching from coffee shop drinks to home made brews you can make a saving of £1,873, a new graphic reveals.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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It’s time we all woke up and smelled the coffee – the overly-expensive, coffee-shop-bought coffee, naturally. Is our coffee addiction really leading us on the road to financial ruin? Or might there be another culprit?

The graphic by BuddyLoans.com also has some rather interesting facts behind the coffee, stating that with global consumption of coffee coming up to 400 billions cups per year.

Incredibly, this story is a lecture on fiscal stability put out as an advert a personal loan company. Talk about the coffeepot calling the kettle black…

What’s most baffling about this story is the by-line: specifically, why did it take two separate Daily Mail journalists to regurgitate a PR infographic which was posted on the Buddyloans blog a fortnight ago? Presumably they needed one to copy/paste it, and the other to go out and get the coffee…

“Uninformed travelers waste loads of time queuing!” says travel guide website

How much time are you spending in line? Infographic reveals the hours wasted queuing for the world’s most popular tourist attractions (and it’s Rome where the most patience is needed)

How long would you be willing to wait to look inside The Louvre in Paris or ride the London Eye?

An average of five hours is being wasted by millions of travellers a year through queuing, a fascinating Infographic has revealed.

The worst culprit appears to be Rome, with visitors spending up to seven and a half hours queuing for attractions – the same length of time as a flight from London to New York or a hike up and down Ben Nevis in Scotland.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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People waste far too much of their holiday time waiting in queues and standing around – if only there were a travel website willing to pay to create an infographic to publish in a national newspaper in order to advertise themselves and how they can help people beat queues on holiday!

The graphic, created by tourism website Get Your Guide, claims that in London, around nine million tourists a year are waiting an average of five hours to visit the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.

Phew. Now if only there were a guide that would help us stop wasting our time reading glorified adverts dressed up as news.

“People waste their money and are rubbish at saving!” says building society

Britons spending hundreds of pounds a year on takeaways

Households having an average of three takeaways a month

Curry-loving Britons could find themselves spending more than £300 a year enjoying their favourite takeaways, research suggests.

Source: Independent, 12th October 2015

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City News: Nationwide, Burberry, Chartered Institute

CURRY-LOVING Britons could find themselves spending about £340 a year enjoying their favourite takeaways, research suggests.

Research for Nationwide Building Society Current Accounts found that consumers enjoy an average of three takeaways a month, with people spending £9.41 each time they have a curry. The research, released to mark National Curry Week, also found that 70 per cent of men said they cannot last more than two weeks without a takeaway, compared with 42 per cent of women.

Source: Express, 12th October 2015

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Important financial news here, featuring as it does in the ‘City News’ section of the Express. Casual readers might wonder why a report on the nation’s takeaway trends warrants coverage in the financial section of national newspapers, but the source of the press release offers some insight:

Research for Nationwide Building Society Current Accounts found that consumers enjoy an average of three takeaways a month, with people spending £9.41 each time they have a curry.

So the story is little more than an advert for Nationwide Building Society’s current accounts. That doesn’t help shed much light on things, until you factor in Nationwide’s marketing around their current accounts, such as this article from July 2015:

Cook from scratch

Self-sufficiency in the kitchen means deconstructing your cooking and learning to create great dishes from scratch. How about swapping your Friday night curry from the local take-away for one put together at home by mixing your own herbs and spices; or turning mince into your own homemade burgers for the barbecue?

In fact, the story is just a way to make readers question their spending habits, and then question what decisions they could make to ensure they have a little spare cash here and there – decisions, presumably, Nationwide want to be the organisation to help them make.

“Divorces can be tricky!” says divorce firm

Divorcing couples ‘lie to courts because laws pit them against each other’

Family law body warns against laws requiring accusation of adultery or unreasonable behaviour for a speedy resolution

Thousands of divorcing couples are lying to the courts every year due to divorce laws which pit people against one another, the family law organisation Resolution has warned.

Source: Independent, 12th October 2015

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While I’m sure it can’t be easy to be going through a divorce under rules which can make life particularly tricky, it also can’t be ignored that this story was based on a release from divorce specialist law firm Resolution, who have something of a vested interest in highlighting to people just how awkward and tricky a divorce can be, thus stressing the need for good legal representation.

 

 

 

 

“All the other women in their 40s get cosmetic surgery!” says cosmetic surgeon targeting women in their 40s

The age women are most likely to have cosmetic surgery revealed as 44… but most go under the knife to appear more attractive NOT younger

Women wait until early middle age to address life-long body hang-ups by going under the knife, according to a new study.

Image-conscious females are booking in for cosmetic surgery at 44, with a tummy tuck named the most desired procedure.

Source: Daily Mail, 21st September 2015

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Women at the specific age of 44 all rush out to get cosmetic surgery, according to this article in the Daily Mail, which just happens to be a piece of PR for a cosmetic surgeon:

However, research by The Harley Medical Group found that these women want to look more attractive not younger so opt for subtle enhancements.

Note the smart and savvy ploy here of stressing that 44 is the age to get surgery, but that the surgery isn’t anything to do with being old – when, clearly, the fact that there’s an age component to when women supposedly start having surgery clearly implies that age is a factor. So what the hook hammers home, the text attempts to smooth over. Classic PR stuff.

According to the research, women in their 40s no longer want to imitate twentysomethings, preferring to have treatments that will make them look ‘like themselves on a good day’.

Which might well be the case, although they fail to point out that the surgery makes women look like themselves on a good day IN A WIND TUNNEL.

The Harley Medical Group Medical Director Simon Smith commented: ‘Women aren’t going to the extreme measures to change their appearance that we’ve seen in previous decades.

‘However by the time many women are in their mid-40s they may sometimes choose to make some changes in order to maintain a more youthful appearance.’

Exactly – it’s not about age, and it’s not about unrealistic pressure and expectation put on women to look a certain way by society and in part by cosmetic surgeons like The Harley Medical Group Medical Director Simon Smith, it’s just about making some changes. Changes, say, to look the way society and The Harley Medical Group Medical Director Simon Smith believe women should look, for example.