“Men: A nice gift will win her heart! (Girls: You should use sex!)” says gift website

While British men use flowers to win back an ex British women prefer to use SEX

More than half of people in the UK have attempted to win back a former partner by buying them a gift of some sort.

And nearly two thirds of those (62 per cent) said it worked a treat in rekindling a romantic relationship.

It’s mostly men who prefer to use this tactic, with 41 per cent of those polled choosing the gift of flowers. Three-quarters of women, on the other hand, have ditched the idea of a gift and instead used sex in an attempt to get back with their ex partner.

Source: Daily Mail, 29 May 2014

"Men: A nice gift will win her heart! (Girls: You should use sex!)" says gift website

The message here is clear: if you’re trying to win back the love of your life, men need to be sure to buy presents, whereas women need to remember that that’s what sex (or, rather, SEX) is for.

That’s quite a nest of ugly gender stereotyping and expectations to unpick, and we’re barely past paragraph three. Suffice it to say, men are much more than walking wallets, and women have much more to offer to the world than simply being sex objects. Moving on…

Researchers polled a total of 1,927 people, aged 18 and over, split evenly between the sexes.

All participants taking part in the research by findmeagift.co.uk had admitted to having previous long-term relationships and then subsequently attempted to win their ex-partners back.

The motivation for convincing people (primarily men, in this case) that the right gift can win back the love of your life is clear – the story was paid for by gift ideas website ‘findmeagift.co.uk’, with the URL right there in the page.


Interestingly, the link to the gift website is active within the Mail page, but upon inspection it’s clear the link doesn’t take you directly to the gift site. Instead, the full link looks like this:


In fact, clicking the link (please don’t – my click was enough) takes you first momentarily to another site, before redirecting to the gift-finding site. Here is the address of the intermediary site (click to expand):


The site momentarily linked to is an affiliate marketing site called Affiliate Future, which records the source of traffic to a website and rewards that source with a cut of the profit made from the traffic directed to the final website.


So, has the Daily Mail moved beyond simply printing press releases as news to actually profiting as an affiliate marketer? What is certain is that the Mail’s website is signed up to a service called Skimlinks – a program which replaces text mentions of certain listed sites with a profit-making affiliate replacement link. It is this site – commonly used by large publishers such as the Mail, Telegraph and Huffington Post – which included the affiliate link, and which the Mail then makes a profit from.

Ordinarily, websites will profit from each organic mention in the news of a particular vendor’s website – the ethics of which you’re free to judge for yourselves.

However, this article clearly wasn’t an ‘organic’ mention – it was almost certaionly a PR-led reprint of a press release, designed at publishing the web address of findmeagift.co.uk in the mainstream press. This wasn’t news. In fact, had the Daily Mail not made the decision to publish this glorified advert, the website would never have gotten a mention, and the Daily Mail would never have made their profit from the link.

Even though the numbers involved are small, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a clear subversion of the purpose of a newspaper: the Daily Mail clearly printed PR content for a direct financial gain. Whether done knowingly or unknowingly, it’s both fascinating and damning in equal measure.

4 thoughts on ““Men: A nice gift will win her heart! (Girls: You should use sex!)” says gift website

  1. Michael Marshall Post author

    It’s still there, Shane – it only shows up on the UK version, as best as I can tell. If you’re in the US it doesn’t pick up the affiliate link. I presume Skimlink has region-specific affiliates.

  2. Adam Jacobs

    Are you sure it’s still there? I’m in the UK, and I don’t get a hyperlink. I assume you mean the the sentence beginning “All participants taking part in the research by…”, yes? All plain text for me.

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