“People are still booking holidays, and you should too!” says holiday company

Terrorism and Brexit don’t stop more Britons going on foreign holidays

MORE people are going on holiday than at any time in the past five years despite terror attacks and the impact of Brexit, according to a study.

Some 86 per cent of UK adults took an overnight trip at home or abroad in the 12 months to August, research by travel organisation Abta found.

This is up from 77 per cent in 2015 and represents the highest figure since 2011, when 90 per cent booked at least one break.

Source: Express, 11th October 2016


Well, thank god the important things are still safe: despite the melting economy and simmering tensions in the Middle East, Brits are still booking city breaks. Phew. It turns out the travel industry is booming, in that case, and it’s probably a good time to book a holiday. Isn’t that right, spokesperson for the company behind this story?

Abta’s director of brand and business development, Victoria Bacon, described the sixth annual Holiday Habits report as “remarkably positive”.

Miss Bacon told reporters at Abta’s annual convention in Abu Dhabi: “British holidaymakers value their holidays immensely and it is heartening to see that holidays are still a priority for most people, despite the high-profile events both overseas and here in the UK.

“The story of the previous 12 months, for holiday-taking at least, is remarkably positive. It’s been a bumper year for domestic and a good one for foreign holidays.

“Brits love their holidays and they won’t give them up easily.”

Brits, you have been told: keep booking holidays because the travel industry say you should.

“People from Britain make terrible tourists, you should avoid them!” says design-your-perfect-holiday firm

Revealed: A Brit’s biggest gripe during a foreign holiday… is OTHER Brits abroad

Delayed flights, food poisoning and pickpockets are all common gripes of the British holidaymaker, but it turns out their biggest annoyance when holidaying abroad is other Brits.

A new survey has questioned the habits of people from the UK when they take a foreign trip, asking about everything from their culinary tastes to hotel preferences.

It revealed that their own nationality’s tendency to hog the sun lounger and get drunk regularly ruined their own holiday.

Source: Daily Mail, 10th October 2016


Of all the many things the average Brit can’t stand about other countries, it turns out it’s the other British people that we dislike the most. Who’d have thought it? Well, at least 48% of people in June, to be fair…

However this is not a story of Brexit despair, but a PR piece advertising a popular holiday company, who presumably are courting the popular “aren’t lots of British people frankly awful” market:

In the research, conducted by leading travel search engine Kayak, nearly nine out of ten participants said they get annoyed with fellow British holidaymakers while away on holiday…

Suzanne Perry, a travel expert at Kayak, said: ‘Holidays are about doing what you want to do.

‘The best advice I can offer is to try and act how you would expect others to – that way, you hopefully won’t go too far wrong.’

Given how we typically expect British people to act abroad, I’m not sure that emulating them is a wise move. Still, given that Kayak bill themselves as the bespoke holiday company that allow you to tailor your break to your own specifications, reminding their customers what they can avoid with a well-crafted holiday fits perfectly with their brand values, which after all is the entire point of this story.

“Don’t let your guests’ shoes on your precious new carpet!” says flooring retailer

The 10 etiquette rules you should NEVER break when visiting someone’s house (including looking in the fridge and asking for the Wi-Fi password)

Want to be the perfect houseguest and get invited back again? Don’t use your phone, always take off your shoes and never ask for the Wi-Fi password.

An etiquette study has revealed the top 10 ‘rude’ faux pas according to homeowners – and you should take note.

The survey found that it’s bad manners to ask for the internet access code, while 89 per cent branded using a phone at the table as the biggest house guest faux pas.

Source: Daily Mail, 11th October 2016 


Social etiquette: the lifeblood of any functional society and a crucial consideration for any house guest. Which is why we can be thankful to the Daily Mail for publishing this list of things to avoid, placed in the media by a discount flooring company:

A spokesperson for DiscountFlooringDepot.co.uk, who commissioned the research, said: ‘Britain is a nation of proud home owners and these results give interesting insight into how many of us would prefer people to behave in our homes.

‘However, my advice to people with houseguests who commit the occasional faux pas is to try and feel glad that any guests committing them simply feel comfortable enough in your home to treat it as their own.’

Why would a flooring company care about social etiquette, you might wonder? Number three on the list of things to stop your guests doing:

House-proud Brits also flagged wearing shoes on the carpet as a house-guest no-no, with 64 per cent revealing they think guests should take off their shoes when entering someone else’s home.

“Young people are rubbish at basic life skills!” says bargain shop

The under 35s who can’t boil an egg or change a lightbulb: Survey finds growing numbers who still live at home do not know basic skills

A third of young adults cannot change a lightbulb while a quarter admit they can’t even boil an egg, according to a survey.

The research among 25 to 34 year olds – many of whom still live with their parents – appears to show they are losing the skills older generations took for granted, as 77 per cent say they couldn’t fix a bike puncture and 68 per cent can’t wire a plug.

And, surprisingly, newer technology leaves many stumped as well, with 23 per cent admitting they can’t use a washing machine while 41 per cent wouldn’t know how to connect a blu-ray player to a TV.

Source: Daily Mail, 11th October 2016


What’s the story here? Is it really that young people are inept at basic life skills and simply can’t function out on their own? Or is it that a chain of bargain-basement, odds-and-ends shops wanted to grab a few cheap headlines?

Many of those surveyed by Poundland also admitted they couldn’t hang a picture, put a new washer in a dripping tap, decorate a room or iron a shirt or blouse.

Simon Twigger from Poundland, said: ‘It’s quite surprising to see the shift in what young Brits see as key life skills to learn.

‘The older generation still have these domestic skills whereas the younger generation have a lot to learn.

‘Fingers crossed they learn a few of them by the time they move out to avoid paying unnecessary handy man costs.’

Poundland. If ever there were a fitting brand to be employing Bad PR tactics, it’s Poundland.

“People don’t always know what they’re buying!” says insurer trying to crowbar in a ‘straight-talking’ marketing line

I have to admit, I don’t envy the marketers and advertisers of insurance brands. How do you sell something that is, effectively, speculation? In a competitive and barely-distinguishable market where one company’s offering barely differs from another’s? it must be a pain to find new lines to push to the media, which is why you end up with weird stories like this:

Do you know what you are eating? Ingredients from human hair and beavers’ scent sacs used in popular foods like bread and ice cream

Sweepings from the floors of barber shops in China and a secretion from a very intimate part of a beaver are ending up on the nation’s tables, it is claimed.

A study has lifted the lid on some of the bizarre ingredients used by the food industry, beauty giants and others.

Researchers have revealed that some supermarket bread contains an ingredient derived from human hair.

Source: Daily Mail, 30th September 2016


So, as the story goes, lots of our foodstuffs contain all manner of strange ingredients that we might not know about. Connect that to an insurance company – you have 30 seconds. Go on, see if you can get there.

…It’s not easy, is it? Largely because there is no connection, in any sane world, between beaver glands and insurance. But, for the sake of it, here’s how Privilege Insurance connected these disparate dots:

The research was commissioned by Privilege insurance and promises to reveal the top 20 secrets behind British consumers’ favourite staples, from orange juice to shoes…

…The head of Privilege Insurance, Dan Simson, said: ‘Privilege believes in straight talking and consumer confidence, so we commissioned this research to confirm or dispute once and for all, some of the everyday consumer scenarios we are all faced with.

‘It is paramount that the consumer has all the facts so they can make a logical and sensible choice about the products they are buying.’

You hear that creaking sound? That’s the sound of a marketing manager over-reaching.

“Here are some members of the public making fools of themselves for our marketing pleasure!” says chocolatiers

The hopefuls who DIDN’T get the Milk Tray Man job: Cadbury releases the cringe-worthy audition tapes that failed – including a man who cycles a box of chocolate over to his mum

Chocolate goliath Cadbury, who recently unveiled a super-smooth new Milk Tray Man, have now revealed some of the hopefuls who didn’t quite make the cut.

Some of the audition tapes sent to the confectionery company during their £3million campaign to find a new polo neck-wearing man might leave viewers wondering what the ambitious auditionees were thinking.

From a gym lover wearing only a black thong to a bald hopeful willing to wear a wig and a chap on a pushbike, the minute-long clips fail spectacularly in their bid to prove just how suave they can be.

Source: Daily Mail, 10th October 2016


In this post-X-factor world you’d have to be a fool to hold behind-closed-doors auditions for a role in your iconic advert, when you can have open submissions from the public, meaning you can secure media coverage in announcing your competition, and then when you find your man you can bag more headlines in announcing your choice.

Still, you’re faced with an inevitable gap between hiring your actor and debuting their first advert, so how do you wring further press coverage out of the story during that break? Why, by humiliating the ordinary people who auditioned for the role, of course! Which is precisely what chocolatier company Cadbury did with their ‘Milk Tray Man’ role, exposing their most hapless auditions not only in the Mail, but in the Sun and Mirror too:

‘I LIKE TO SLIP INTO BEDROOMS UNNOTICED’ After Cadbury’s hire a new hunky Milk Tray Man we take a look at some of the most cringe-worthy audition tapes from the 20,000 hopefuls

LAST year, Cadbury’s launched an appeal to find a hunk to become the star of their new chocolate campaign.

The iconic Milk Tray Man is known for being suave and smooth, but it’s safe to say he won’t be worried about losing his title to any of these blundering auditionees.

Source: The Sun, 7th October 2016


The most cringe-worthy auditions for the new Milk Tray Man – from a bed intruder to a bearded hipster in a forest

In the bedrooms and woodlands of Britain, strange men have been slipping on polo-neck sweatshirts and talking about chocolate.

The reason behind these strange happenings is because Cadbury is relaunching its midnight intruder, the Milk Tray Man.

The chocolate giant discontinued its adverts in 2003. They began in 1968, with six hunky men – suave, sophisticated, and dressed in black – surreptitiously delivering ladies boxes of Milk Tray in James Bond-like ‘raids’.

Source: Mirror, 10th October 2016


And that’s how you turn an advert into three hits of national ‘news’ coverage.

“Everyone is getting a wine cellar installed!” says wine cellar fitter

Wine upmanship! Or how the latest status symbol is a £40,000 wine cellar buried under your sitting room

Forget keeping your bottles of plonk in a simple rack or, even worse, a cupboard — no, the latest middle-class must-have is a state-of-the art wine cellar, wall or even a spiral staircase to perfectly showcase your collection.

It’s a trend inspired by such famous faces as Sir Richard Branson, the Beckhams and Angelina Jolie. And with collecting and investing in fine vintages becoming increasingly popular among affluent professionals, so, too, are wine cellars — but not as we know them.

The fusty, cobweb-festooned caves beneath many Victorian houses are not where today’s enthusiasts want to store their wine — not just at the perfect temperature and humidity, but also in style.

Source: Daily Mail, 8th October 2016 


Ever with the finger on the pulse of what the average reader is thinking, the Daily Mail explained the importance of correct wine storage, and how all the cool kids are having bespoke wine cellars installed. Who might want to inspire a few more renovations with this article?

Lucy Hargreaves, managing director of Spiral Cellars, which builds more than 200 bespoke cellars a year, says she has seen demand rocket by 20 per cent over the past year. ‘Britain’s love affair with wines continues unabated and super-stylish, climate-controlled spaces in which to store wine are now a design feature in many upmarket homes.

‘Every wine cellar or room is slightly different when it comes to temperature, ranging from 8c to 18c. The most important thing is that the temperature is stable, because fluctuations spoil the wine.’

“Here are the toys you need to buy this year!” says toyshop

Attack of the drones! New Star Wars flying toys which can hit 50mph top the list of children’s must-haves this Christmas

Forget hopes of a few hours’ peace as the children put together Lego or play with model cars, this year’s must-have toys threaten to turn Christmas into a war zone.

For a new range of Star Wars-inspired toys include saucer-sized drones capable of flying at 50mph.

Powered by four propellers the mini flying machines are also armed with lasers and intended to allow users to group together to recreate the intergalactic battles seen in the Star Wars films as a drone slowly spirals to the ground after being hit three times.

Source: Daily Mail, 6th October 2016


An important story here, about the absolute must-have toys for Christmas this year. Which, conveniently, comes from toyshop Hamley’s:

Toy store Hamleys has predicted what it expects to be the top 10 sellers this festive season, including a game that smacks players in the face with a wet sponge or cream.

We’ve come a long way since the days of the PR-staged Buzz Lightyear drought of ’96…

“Having the right smile is crucially important!” says tooth whitening product, via ‘facial reader’

What does YOUR smile say about you? Find out if your grin reveals you’re confident, fake, shy – or just very smug

People smile for all kind of reasons – not all of them good. Smugness, embarrassment and fear can all cause smiles. Can you recognise which is which?

The type of smile you have can reveal a lot about you.

Find out below what your smile indicates about you according to top facial reader Jean Haner.

Source: Daily Mail, 8th October 2016


It can sometimes be genuinely impressive, the lengths that companies will go to shame women about thier looks and therefore prime them for a commercial message. Take this story, about the huge importance your smile carries, and how each of our smiles (and by ‘our’, I mean women, of course) says so much about what kind of person we are. This particular piece of PR enlists the help of ‘expert’ Jean Haner, who is described as a ‘facial reader’. What precisely is a facial reader, you might be wondering? Well, as she describes herself:

In a private consultation, Jean reads the patterns in your face and your birth date, to show you the rich design of your inner nature, and where you are in the cycles of time, to help you achieve personal change and professional success.

Jean will also answer your questions about things like career issues, personal relationships, problems or decisions, and how to discover your true calling in life.

So, it’s part astrology, part physiognomy, all bullshit. Glad to know we have an expert on the case to tell us all about the importance of having the right smile, and how vital our appearances are. Who drafted in a woo-merchant in order to flog their cosmetic product?

When someone looks down as they smile, it can be a sign of shyness and self-consciousness and a lack of confidence, especially if they also cover their mouth with their hand,’ explains Jean, who released her findings in conjunction with Instant White Teeth. This type of smile can also signal embarrassment or can be done purposefully to appear alluring.

A tooth whitening company, no less. Which might go some way towards explaining why such emphasis is placed on the appearance of teeth in the article:

An open mouthed smile, where the lips are stretched and the teeth are on display, exudes confidence, warmth and a positive energy. ‘This kind of smile goes beyond just showing friendliness,’ says Jean.

“We can dress anything up as a revelation if we put it in an infographic!” says bedding company

From a five minute run for a vodka and Diet Coke to a 48-minute cycle for a pint of Guinness – how long does it take to burn off YOUR favourite tipple?

If you’re watching your weight, you need to pay just as much attention to everything you drink as well as what you eat.

Alcoholic drinks can be surprisingly laden with calories, and now an infographic from Sleepy People has revealed the amount of exercise you’d need to do to burn off your favourite tipple.

A small glass of sparkling white is one of the most diet-friendly and can be cancelled out by seven minutes of running, while a White Russian might be best avoided as it will take 33 minutes of running to burn off.

Source: Daily Mail, 7th October 2016


The ‘revelation’ from the Daily Mail that different alcoholic drinks have different calorie contents comes courtesy of bedding company Sleepy People, in a move that proves if you want to get your content printed untouched on a national newspaper’s website, put it in a pretty drawing.