“Men need to be better at buying presents for women!” says shop selling presents for women

You know how men are completely clueless and baffled simpletons when it comes to anything at all, especially when it comes to their partner? A bit like the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Huffington Post told us recently:

Wife’s bra size? Dress size? Date of birth? This might sound like basic information but millions of men haven’t the faintest idea 

Millions of men are completely clueless when it comes to choosing a Christmas gift for their significant other a new survey has found.

39 per cent have no idea what their wives’ bra size is, while another 23 per cent don’t know what dress size she takes.

Most shamefully of all, 12 per cent don’t even know their other halves’ date of birth.

Source: Daily Mail, 26 November 2012


We poor, befuddled, baffled and idiotic men! Millions of us are astonishingly ignorant about our lady partners (presumably the Mail is only talking about heterosexual married couples, it seems). We sit across the breakfast table, staring blankly at the stranger looking back at us, desperately trying to place where we’ve seen her before, and what she does for a living, and what her favourite perfume is. Because knowing your wife’s favourite perfume is one of the absolute most important details you can know. We know this is true for two reasons:

1) The article in the Mail makes this very clear to us:

The survey also found that 34 per cent of men have no idea what their partners’ favourite perfume is and 24 per cent don’t know what her favourite clothes shop is…

…Not surprisingly, the research, conducted by high street beauty retailer, Superdrug, also found that 40 per cent of couples have fallen out because the man has forgotten – or not bothered to ask – about things he ought to know.

That would be high street beauty retailer and perfume seller, Superdrug, informing men that forgetting which perfume your wife wears will lead to a falling out. This comes, bear in mind, one month before Christmas…

2) The article is a near duplicate of an article which appeared in the Mail in February 2010, which also spoke of ignorant men neglecting basic pieces of information on their partners, such as date of birth, eye colour and… favourite perfume:

Think he knows you? Think again! How millions of men don’t know their partner’s dress size, date of birth, or even eye colour 

Facing each other over the breakfast table each morning, a husband and wife might think they know everything there is to know about each other.

In his case, he would probably be wrong.

Millions of British males are astonishingly ignorant about their partner’s basic characteristics including clothes size and even eye colour.

Source: Daily Mail, 09 February 2010


The source of the story back in February 2010 – five days before Valentine’s Day – was the Perfume Shop, as made explicit in the article at the time:

According to a survey of 2,000 men buying scent for their female partner at the Perfume Shop, six out of ten believed they knew her inside out.

So, if this data was from men caught walking out of the Perfume Shop, what gives? Has Superdrug hijacked the research to run an almost-identical story over two years later?

I doubt it – in fact, the original piece wasn’t actually a survey of men buying perfume for their partner in the perfume shop, but was in fact an online survey from 72 Point’s ubiquitous nonsense factory OnePoll… as was the latest survey put out on behalf of Superdrug:


This leads to some rather intriguing questions, it’s fair to say. For instance, was the data gathered by the Perfume Society back in 2010 so stunningly accurate that almost three years later it correlates so closely with the figures gathered in a follow up study?

Or, conversely, was the data gathered in the survey commissioned by the Perfume Shop repackaged, slightly updated and then re-sold as being for Superdrug much later? We know for certain Superdrug were behind the latest story, as their press release is still featured on the 72 Point site, so this certainly isn’t a case of Superdrug rechurning the work done for the Perfume Shop brand.

Most intriguingly, if the latter, are Superdrug aware that the stats they’re running with are potentially almost three years outdated? When I called Superdrug’s PR agency Z-PR to ask them, I was told the research was “unequivocally brand new research, which (the PR contact) commissioned herself”. Curious…