Monthly Archives: October 2015

“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


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


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


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


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


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.

“Meeting in public can compromise your privacy!” says meeting room hire company

Where you’re most likely to overhear other people’s business secrets

Coffee shops and restaurants were the most common places to eavesdrop on a private conversation

Londoners are incapable of holding their tongues in public, according to a survey. Nearly half of those asked confessed to having discussed their company’s business secrets in a public space.

Source: Independent, 2nd October 2015


it seems that conducting business meetings in public places can pose a serious security risk, according to this survey by a meeting room hire company:

Nearly 50 per cent of all Londoners have overheard at least one private business conversation in a public space, while 47 per cent have started one, according to a study by

According to Caleb Parker, CEO of careless talk can cost any business a lot of money and embarrassment

“Whether it’s a competitor stealing your new product idea or an investor overhearing sensitive financial information, it’s clear from the study that while companies spend thousands, if not millions, every year protecting their data from hackers, their biggest data security threat is people sharing too much in a public place,” Mr Parker said.

With so much privacy at risk, it’s a good thing are here to remind us, with an entirely civic-minded motivation, that meeting rooms can be hired.

“Your body is older and closer to death than you think!” says private health firm

What’s your heart’s REAL age? Take this test to find out, as doctors warn most of us are old before our time…

Many of us claim to feel young at heart when the reality could, in fact, be quite the opposite.
Experts have revealed the ‘heart age’ of someone is, on average, more than three years older than their actual age and can vary by years – depending on the job they do.

A new study has found people working in manual labour have the worst heart health, while teachers and those working in the medical profession have the best.

So should you be worried about your heart and what can you do to improve its health?

Source: Daily Mail, 1st October 2015


Do you feel you’re getting old before your time? Are you worried that, as this article suggests, your heart might be on its last ventricles, ready to pop, and you’d never even know it? Do you fear your own mortality and feel the icy hand of death on your shoulder? If so, I can assure you that that’s in no way precisely what the company behind this article wanted:

The global research was carried out by Bupa and the World Heart Federation with more than 8,000 consumers completing a heart age check.

Dr. Fiona Adshead, chief wellbeing and public health officer at Bupa said: ‘If current trends continue, by 2030 more than 23 million people will die annually from cardiovascular disease.

Glad to know Bupa are looking out for us, in ways which might just-about scaremonger Daily Mail readers into taking out private insurance. The stress of this long, hard look at our own mortality is enough to force us to an early grave…

“Everyone is having a ‘granny flat’ built!” says tradesman’s website

The granny flat boom: Number of families building an annexe for relatives up by a third spurred on by lucrative tax breaks for homeowners

Soaring numbers of homeowners are building granny flats to house elderly relatives or grown-up children, figures show.

Properties with an annexe for family members have increased by more than a third in the past two years.

The boom is believed to have been partly spurred on by a lucrative council tax break for homeowners with granny flats.

Source: Daily Mail, 3rd October 2015


Everyone is building annexes to their homes and using them to house relatives these days, in order to take advantage of a 50% discount in Council Tax. But with all of these new extensions and renovations taking place apparently all over the country, there must be a growing need for reliable handymen to get the work done?

Celia Francis, chief executive of tradesmen website Rated People, said: ‘A shortage of affordable housing for today’s first-time buyer, coupled with elderly relatives in need of care, are resulting in up to three generations living under one roof.’

Yet another case of fortuitous findings from a company which happened to commission the ‘research’ – it’s a website which helps people locate tradesmen who happen to find that there’s a growing demand for reliable tradesmen.

“Everyone’s getting a beard transplant!” says surgeon willing to do ridiculous procedure

Wannabe hipsters can get a beard transplant for £7,000

A check shirt, waistcoat and fixed-gear bike used to be enough to set the aspiring hipster on his way. For the whiskerless wannabe, it seems that something more drastic is now required: a beard transplant.

Rising numbers of men are having facial follicle grafts to achieve the bushy look favoured by trendy urbanites, surgeons say. The cultural link between beards and masculinity is also fuelling demand in some ethnic groups.

Source: The Times, 3rd October 2015


Men are spending thousands on beard transplants

Men said they had spent up to £14,500 on beard transplants.

Men are spending thousands of pounds to fill in their patchy beards, as the number of beard transplant procedures increases dramatically.

Men surveyed by The New York Times said they spent up to £14,500 on beard transplants to achieve a fully groomed look.

Source: Independent, 2nd October 2015


Beard transplants really are all the rage, aren’t they? In fact, is there anyone among us who haven’t had one? I’ve personally had three, because this is definitely a thing and definitely a big trend and definitely not just a PR piece for a private hair clinic to try to pretend that the niche service they offer is secretly the Next Big Thing:

The number of beard transplants performed has risen from being just 1.5 per cent of all hair restoration procedures undertaken internationally in 2012 to 3.7 per cent in 2014, according to the nonprofit medical association, International Society of Hair Restoration.

Vincenzo Gambino, president of the ISHRS said: “While a clean-shaven appearance is still popular, beards are now very trendy among more males than ever before thanks to their resurgence in Hollywood and among professional athletes.”

“For those who prefer a fuller beard or more facial hair, beard hair transplants offer excellent results.”

Well, thank god the ISHRS is here to offer us expensive and clearly-niche surgery to live up to the latest look, while using their PR to make out like this is an entirely normal state of affairs. Otherwise this whole story could have seemed utterly ridiculous.

“Men prefer a natural look!” says skincare brand

Don’t tell the TOWIE girls! A third of men say heavy make-up, fake tan and Botox are their biggest turn-offs in a woman

Millions of women apply foundation, lipstick and mascara every morning, many in the mistaken belief that this will make them look attractive to men.

But, according to new research, men in UK would much prefer their wives and girlfriend chose a natural look instead as they too much make-up a turn off.

What’s more they are calling for the growing trend for plastic surgery, including Botox and lip fillers, and fake tan and false eyelashes to come to an end.

Source: Daily Mail, 29th September 2015


Men find excessive make-up, cosmetic surgery, botox and other interventions unattractive, according to this research. And while this blogger happens to agree wholeheartedly (though, y’know, your face is your own business as far as I’m concerned), it shouldn’t escape our attention that the firm behind this research are a skincare company who sell themselves on natural beauty:

A six month study carried out by skin care brand Flint + Flint revealed the majority of UK women wear make-up every day, while 34 per cent wear fake tan and 22 per cent regularly wear false eyelashes.

Owner Maxine Flint said: ‘The popularity of reality shows such as TOWIE and Made In Chelsea, where the emphasis is on the girls being dolled up and looking good, has seen a huge rise in overtly glamorous make-up and clothing.

‘Us normal women feel the pressure to conform and keep up with these trends but it’s surprising to hear that we are not impressing the other sex.

‘It makes you wonder whose opinion actually matters to us women – our partners or our female friends?’

What we do know, at the very least, is that what matters to Flint + Flint is securing positive coverage for their brand in a national newspaper.

“Women buy make-up in overly large containers!” says smaller-size make-up retailers

Do you use expired make-up out of shame? More than 80% of women feel too GUILTY to throw out make-up that has gone bad – even if it causes them to break out

If you can’t stand the thought of throwing away your clumpy, two-year-old designer mascara that has long expired, you’re not alone, as 89 per cent of women admit to holding on to their old make-up ‘just in case’ they need it someday – even though it may contain harmful bacteria.

Source: Daily Mail, 24th September 2015


To think, women’s insistence on buying large-size make-up containers is making them ill, because their skinflint tendencies prevent them from throwing make-up out once it reaches its sell-by date. If only there were a solution to this conundrum, preferably from a company willing to pay for scientists and a PR team to put a story into a national newspaper:

Stowaway, a cosmetics brand that sells ‘right-sized’ products, teamed up with beauty data company Poshly to commission a study of more than 4,000 regular make-up wearers to see how they are really using cosmetics in their daily lives – and the results are shocking.

75 per cent of the women surveyed say they don’t routinely finish their make-up products, not just before it expires, but at all.

And your health may be at risk. Scientists at London Metropolitan University recently tested five products including a mascara, found

I’m glad it took scientists at a university to help promote a brand whose unique selling point is that they sell smaller containers of make-up. That seems an excellent use of a scientist.