Monthly Archives: July 2014

“Mobile phones are now integral parts of your love life!” says mobile company

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done while dating? Given the often misanthropic demographic of this blog, I genuinely dread to think what just passed through your minds. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Still, whatever horrible misdeed you just thought up, it almost certainly wasn’t featured on the latest list of Do’s and Dont’s to make the Mail:

Which dating mistakes do YOU make? From using the word LOL to sending too many kisses, study reveals biggest tech turn offs

Using the wrong amount of kisses in a text message has been revealed as the top turn off in romantic phone etiquette.

Whether it’s a new romance or a long-term relationship, sending fewer kisses in a text than a partner is considered impolite and a brush off.

Answering the phone at dinner, and having it switched on in the cinema were also included in the list, alongside texting after 11pm, resending the same text if no response is received, and emailing pointless small talk.

Source: Daily Mail, 20th June 2014

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It transpires, according to a biased and very selective poll, that all of the worst dating faux pas involve your humble Nokia-successor:

The study, compiled by TalkTalk Mobile, found that over half of British men believe it is acceptable to end a relationship over text, whereas 62 per cent of women think that only face-to-face break ups are acceptable.

With a mobile phone company finding that mobile phones play such an important part in the goods and bads of dating, we have to be thankful there’s an etiquette expert on hand to offer a trite and media-friendly soundbite:

Dan Meader of TalkTalk Mobile, told MailOnline: ‘[Our] work with Debretts means that we’re able to go one step further towards helping out Britain’s daters mind their manners.’

Jo Bryant, etiquette expert at Debretts, added: ‘Mobile phones allow us to communicate instantly, with ease and spontaneity, but as the TalkTalk Mobile survey results show, consideration for others is essential for good mobile phone manners.’

Hardly the most subtle PR story of all time. Talk about phoning it in.

Nestlé to create machine to give people “everything they need”. They should start with clean drinking water.

Nestle reveals secret project to build food ‘replicator’ that can create personalised meals to give people exactly the nutrients they need

Nespresso machine have taken the coffee world by storm – and now Nestle hopes a new food making system could have a similar effect on the way we eat.

The firm is developing a ‘food replicator’ that bosses describe as ‘the next microwave’.

It will deliver meals personalised for each user, with exactly the right balance of nutrients they need for a healthy diet.

Source: Daily Mail, 23rd June 2014

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Nestlé wants a Star Trek style ‘replicator’ that scans you to create nutritionally perfect food

It looks like 3D printers are going to give us the best chance to ‘dial up’ a meal science fiction style -but food giant Nestlé has gone one better and said they’re also working on a machine that can figure out the nutrients our body needs as well.

Bloomberg reports that the project (which has been inexplicably code-named ‘Iron Man’) would analyse an individuals’ dietary deficiencies, studying a range of factors from carbohydrates to cholesterol to produce highly personalized meals.

“Iron Man is an analysis of what’s missing in our diets, and a product, tailored to you, to help make up that difference,” Ed Beagle, the director of Nestlé’s Institute of Health Sciences research arm, told Bloomberg. “In the past, food was just food. We’re going in a new direction.”

Source: Independent, 24th June 2014

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Ah, the spirit of invention and innovation, alive and well Nestlé! Aren’t they a wonderful, forward-thinking, positive company about whom we should only have warm, fuzzy and happy thoughts – thoughts like the ones this press-release-published-as-news engender?

It’s almost enough to make one forget that Nestlé are a company who’ve been the subject of a widespread public boycott for over 30 years over their aggressive promotion of baby formula in developing countries with poor access to clean drinking water.

In fact, the positive-if-entirely-speculative story about something Nestlé have suggested they might look at in the future might have changed some people’s minds about the company – maybe.

Yet, there’s something slightly disingenuous about Nestlé’s claims to develop a machine that would give its user ‘exactly the nutrients they need’. After all, Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has only recently confirmed he recognises the importance of water to people, having previously argued that water is not a basic human right.

While it’s impossible to say whether the story about the future, possible, one-day development of an ‘everything you need’ machine is linked to Nestlé’s recent ‘we don’t actually think everyone *needs* access to water’ position, the timing is still interesting. Is there a food-security version of greenwashing?

“Post-menopausal women still have to look sexy!” says skin supplement targeting post-menopausal women

Never one to shy from a taboo (if there’s precious, precious page clicks in it), the Daily Mail recently offered their take on the joys of post-menopausal sex:

The Mrs Robinson effect: Two out of five older women admit to being equally or more sexually active after menopause

Often misunderstood, the menopause is usually viewed as a time of slowing down for women, and the first sign of increasing years.

But new research reveals that two out of five menopausal women are either more or just as sexually active as they were before entering this period.

And one in ten is older women is having ‘more fun’ than in their 30s, with the same amount saying they can even see themselves enjoying life with a new partner, according to a survey of 500 women.

Source: Daily Mail, 30th June 2014

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A curious article, this one: while on the surface, it does appear to be a positive and uplifting message declaring confidently that the menopause doesn’t signal the death of the libido (which, all things being equal, is a nice message to be putting out), the source of the story is nevertheless problematic. The first hint as to the paymasters behind this PR study appears a little way in:

With it marking the end of menstruation, it has traditionally been known as the ‘change of life’ and the reduction in oestrogen can cause physical and emotional symptoms, such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and problematic skin.

Being neither menopausal nor female, I may not be best placed to comment, but I was a little surprise that this ‘post-menopause doesn’t mean post-sex’ article didn’t add libido-loss or other physical symptoms of problematic sexual lives (as a thirty year old man, I can’t get away with saying ‘vaginal dryness’ here, so I’ll leave that to the experts) to the list… and I was very surprised to see ‘problematic skin’ mentioned. It certainly had me skimreading the article quicker, leading me to:

The study, conducted by independent survey company OnePoll on behalf of Stratum C; developers of the UK’s leading skincare range for menopause; polled 500 women who were either going or had just gone through the symptoms.

First things first – it’s interesting to see Bad PR regulars OnePoll were behind the survey. Who’d have thought that OnePoll could so easily gather 500 post-menopausal women within the short window their online and unregulated polls remain open for – especially given the possibility for OnePoll users to circumvent screening questions in a quest for ever more micropayments.

If OnePoll’s screening and sampling isn’t utterly bulletproof, this story could easily be fatally compromised.

Secondly, take a look at the company who paid OnePoll (or paid a PR company to pay OnePoll) to gather the data – a skincare company targetting menopausal women. Suddenly that positive ‘you’re still sexy!’ spin looks a lot more like ‘you still need to buy products to make you look sexy!’, doesn’t it?

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Tim Clover, CEO of Stratum C, said: ‘We’ve inevitably become a contact point and hub for women to ask questions or tell us about their experiences. It’s fantastic when we hear stories of people embracing this new phase in their lives and are feeling confident about it.

‘These are vibrant women often with healthy sex lives; even contemplating a new partner in some cases. They care a great deal about feeling good and being confident in their appearance is clearly as important as it’s ever been.

Clearly, Tim, appearances are as important as ever – but post-menopausal women the land over doubtlessly want to express their gratitude to you and to Stratum C for reminding them of their ceaseless obligation to focus on their appearance.

“You should sleep naked, it’ll make you happy!” says bedsheet company

Sleeping naked could be the secret to a happy relationship, survey finds.

Sleeping naked and keeping food out of the bedroom are two of the secrets to a happy relationship, according to a survey.

A poll of 1,000 people across Britain showed that those who sleep together in the nude are most content in their marriage or relationship.

Less than half of people who wear pyjamas or nighties said they were “extremely happy”, compared to 57 per cent of those who went without.

Source: Independent, 30th June 2014

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Study reveals that couples who sleep naked have a happier relationship

Good news guys, a new survey has revealed that those who sleep naked have a happier relationship *burns all fleece pyjama sets*.

The study from Cotton USA asked couples what they slept in at bedtime and then asked them to rate how happy they were in their relationship.

Source: Metro, 30th June 2014

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In a blow for the PJ-wearers among us, it appears that the more you wear to bed, the more your relationship is doomed to failure. The word ‘appears’ being key, given the source of the survey:

The research, by Cotton USA, found that sleeping habits can have an impact on relationships as arguments break out or people avoid staying at their partner’s home overnight.

Cotton USA, the makers of cotton sheets, really do want you to believe that the feel of cotton against your skin at night is enough to keep your relationship from hitting the rocks.

Stephanie Thiers-Ratcliffe, from Cotton USA, said: “There are many factors which can affect the success of a relationship, but one factor which is often overlooked is the bedroom environment.“

There’s a good reason why the impact of nightwear is overlooked when assessing relationship success, Stephanie. See if you can guess it.