Monthly Archives: November 2016

“WiFi is more important than booze or sex!” says WiFi company

Are YOU addicted to Wi-Fi? Almost half of us crave internet access more than chocolate, alcohol and sex

Internet addiction is taking over our lives.

So much so, that it appears almost half of us would rather have Wi-Fi than chocolate, alcohol and even sex.

The latest figures follow research that suggests internet addiction is simply a smokescreen for more severe psychological issue.

Source: Daily Mail, 17th November 2016


Are you addicted to WiFi? If you answered ‘yes’, you don’t know the definition of ‘addicted’. But can you live without WiFi? If you answered: ‘Wait, why would I have to? Do I also have to decide whether I can live without electricity? What’s the point in this question?’, you’re starting to get the hang of this.

Obviously nobody is addicted to WiFi, and obviously this article only exists to highlight how handy people feel it is to be connected to all of the knowledge and information in history and every other person on the planet. And that importance is key, given that this is not a sober reflection on a psychological phenomenon, but an advert for a WiFi company:

The study, by iPass, looked at information from more than 1,700 people from North America and Europe.

Patricia Hume, chief commercial officer of iPass said: ‘Wi-Fi is not only the most popular method of internet connectivity, it has surpassed many other human luxuries and necessities.

‘The idea that Wi-Fi would be considered more important than sex, alcohol and chocolate would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

‘We all want to stay connected and productive in our personal and professional lives.’

Note that the quote is from iPass’ chief commercial officer – because the commerciality of the company is really what this story is about, and nothing more than that. The references to chocolate, alcohol and sex are merely the bait used to lure the media into covering this press release.

“Shopping on the high street is stressful!” says online marketplace

Christmas shopping can be as stressful as running a MARATHON: Hitting the high street may increase your heart rate by 33%

With less than six weeks to go until Christmas, high streets around the world are packed full of busy shoppers stocking up on their presents.

But a new study suggests that Christmas shopping may be more stressful than realised.

The research showed that heart rates tend to increase by 33 per cent while Christmas shopping – which is on par with the increase while running a marathon.

Source: Daily Mail, 17th November 2016


Shopping on the high street over Christmas is so stressful it affects your heartrate in much the same way as running a marathon, according to this latest research. If you’re thinking “surely that can’t be true”, you’re almost certainly right, and you’re almost certainly missing the point – this is a press release put out by a company with an axe to grind. In this case, eBay:

The study was run by eBay, who investigated the physiological responses of shoppers, during a 60-minute shopping experience.

It isn’t hard to imagine why eBay, an online marketplace, might want to tell people that being out on the high street and buying presents in person is awfully stressful and just not worth it. After all, most of that shopping can be done from the comfort of your laptop, and a certain shopping website, right?

“People like to give gifts!” says online retailer, ahead of Christmas

Britain’s a nation of givers not receivers this Christmas

GENEROUS Brits are really all about the giving this year as they splash more on their friends and family this Xmas – rather than receiving gifts, a new study revealed.

Nearly three quarters of people in the festive spirit would prefer to give a gift than receive one.

And it’s not a last-minute thing – Brits will devote an average of 4 hours and 16 minutes tracking down the perfect present.

Source: Daily Star, 16th November 2016


Christmas is almost here, and with it the obligatory raft of festive-themed PR pieces in the news as companies rush to peg their press releases to a date in the calendar – in this case reminding people of the joy of giving gifts, which many people love even more than receiving. Which is handy from a PR perspective, because it’s hard to market the act of receiving gifts, but you can very easily encourage people to buy gifts and thus give your company money… such as the company behind this story:

YouGov carried out the research – commissioned by – and raked in the results from 2,000 Brits.

An online retailer tells the public that they should buy things to give to people, and it makes national news.


“Cooking meals for people is important!” says rice manufacturer

Best way to show you care? Give them a cuppa: Making a tea, preparing a surprise meal and running a bath among top 50 signs you appreciate someone

Cooking someone’s favourite meal, making them a cup of tea without being asked, and watching a TV show or film you hate but know they enjoy are among the top 50 signs you care, a survey has found.

A poll, of 2,000 adults, has revealed the top ways to show you care, which also includes sharing your food with them, giving them the biggest or last slice of cake and doing the chores without being asked.

Source: Daily Mail, 16th November 2016


We all want the people in our lives to know we care, but showing our affection can be hard. What can we do to let our loved ones know we appreciate them? Well, according to this latest story in the Daily Mail, one way would be to do something thoughtful for them, such as cooking for them:

Preparing a healthy meal for them, taking them out for a surprise meal and taking an interest in a subject that interests them, even if you find it boring, feature in the top 50.

It’s an interesting idea, cooking for someone to let them know you care. If only we had some ideas about the kind of meals we should cook, or the kind of ingredients we should use. Perhaps the company behind this survey might have some suggestions:

Camilla Sheeley, from Tilda Basmati rice, which commissioned the research, said: ‘Everyone wants to feel they are cared for and appreciated and sometimes it only takes something small to make people feel this way.

‘Something as simple as a spontaneous hug or just a smile can really make someone feel better.

‘Food also appears to be a great way of showing you care – whether it’s just cooking them their favourite meal when they’ve had a hard day or making a healthy and nutritious dish to support them if they are on a diet or not feeling 100 per cent.’

Rice! Of course. That explains everything. Next time you want to say ‘I love you’, say it with rice.




“People don’t know how to tell how healthy they are!” says private health firm

Over HALF of Britons determine if they are fit by looking in the MIRROR

OVER half of Britons delude themselves into thinking they are fit and healthy by simply looking at their bodies in the mirror, a survey has revealed.

And 51 per cent of the population would only change their day-to-day lifestyle if they had a serious warning from their GP, the research found.

The study exposed UK adults’ misguided approach to health monitoring which appears to be based on us assuming we are fine as long as we look all right.

Source: Express, 15th November 2016


People are terrible at judging how fit they are, preferring to look at themselves in the mirror (or, as in the case of the illustration in the article, to get their older sister to stand in her underwear on the other side of a hole in the wall, apparently). The finding that people can’t be trusted to keep care of themselves is useful, given that it comes from a private health firm:

The survey of 1,000 adults, commissioned by Bupa Health Clinics, found people in Bristol agonise for eight weeks before deciding to see a doctor by far the longest in the country.

Perhaps it’s time to stop agonising and to commit to seeing someone about that niggling health condition, right Bupa?

Philip Luce of Bupa said: “This research shows that despite the fantastic advances we’ve made in medicine Britons still take an age-old approach to their health.

“In fact, people are more likely to visit a doctor if they can see something unusual or different about their body than if they’ve been feeling unwell for a few days.

“I’d encourage people to check in on how they’re feeling more often, whether that’s a health check or a quick overview from day to day.”

And if you’re wondering where you can get one of those health checks done, I’m sure Bupa have some suggestions.

“Women: have affairs; Men: women have affairs!” says extramarital ‘dating’ website

Women cheat on men who don’t do house chores, French survey finds

Women are more likely to cheat on men who fail to pull their weight when it comes to household chores, according to a major French study.

A poll of 10,000 female subscribers to Gleedon – a top site for married and unfaithful people – suggests that the best way to a woman’s heart is by doing the dishes and the vacuum cleaning.

Source: Telegraph, 15th November 2016


Most women who cheat do it ‘because their partners do not do enough housework’, claims survey

Almost nine in 10 respondents say they are annoyed by the lack of help doing chores

Most women who cheat do it because their partners do not do enough housework, according to a major survey in France.

A poll of 10,000 women revealed 73 per cent who were driven to be unfaithful did so because their other half did too few chores.

Source: Independent, 16th November 2016


Women cheat on men because men don’t help them with the housework, according to this story which drifted into the UK press from the continent. At least the majority of the coverage of this tale put front and centre the source of the dubious data: Gleedon.

Coming straight out of the Ashley Madison school of extramarital ‘dating’, Gleedon apparently polled 10,000 of its female users to find out what made them unfaithful. That said, that they claim to have 10,000 female users puts them out of the Ashley Madison school, the latter allegedly inventing many of its female users as a lure for the many male subscribers.

How much can we trust the data shouted at us from these headlines? About as far as you can trust a website whose entire PR strategy relies on sensationalism and shock value, so not very far at all.

“Parents lie to their children!” says animal charity

‘Father Christmas is watching you’: Parents share the harmless, funny and cruel white lies they tell their children – so how many are YOU guilty of?

As any parent knows too well, sometimes a little white lie is the only way to appease a nagging or naughty child.

Indeed, parents have shared the top white lies they’ve told their children – and whilst some of them are hilarious, others are somewhat cruel.

‘Father Christmas is watching you,’ ‘carrots will make you see in the dark’ and ‘your pet has gone to live on a farm’ are among the top white lies parents tell their children.

Source: Daily Mail, 14th November 2016


Despite the festive theme of the headline, the commissioners of this story aren’t Christmas-themed. To understand the genesis of this article, and the direction the PR team behind it were going for, we have to look down the copy somewhat to find another common lie parents tell their kids:

The top white lie told to kids about their pets is after one dies or has gone missing, when ‘your pet has gone to live on a farm in the countryside’ is employed.

The pet angle is the real hook here, given that the article was derived from PR put out by an animal charity:

However, one in ten parents say they’ve replaced their child’s dead pet with an identical looking one, to trick their child into believing it was still alive and well, found the study by Blue Cross pet charity.

“You need to follow expert advice to find live!” says dating site claiming to be experts

Stuck looking for The One? Expert reveals what YOU should be considering in a partner (and opposites definitely DON’T attract)

It’s long been claimed that opposites attract but experts have found that may not be the case after all.

After looking at a number of different physical and personality traits across more than one million of its members, the experts at have found that singles are overwhelmingly more likely to hit it off with someone similar to themselves.

Source: Daily Mail, 8th November 2016


Dating advice in the Daily Mail here, courtesy of a dating website who wants to advertise that they exist and want to highlight the fact that they like to promote themselves as experts in dating science –

“People really like sausages!” says sausage company

Britons still refuse to give up sausages – despite health chiefs warning of the cancer risks associated with eating processed meats

Britons are refusing give up sausages, despite health chiefs warning of the cancer risks from eating processed meats, a survey has found.

More than one in ten confesses to eating two packs a month.

A 2015 report from the World Health Organisation warned that eating just 50g of processed meat a day – equivalent to a single sausage – increases the risk of developing bowel cancer by 18 per cent.

Source: Daily Mail, 13th November 2016


The Daily Mail covers all the important stories, including this valuable piece of research showing that people refuse to abandon sausages, no matter what warnings the WHO gives about the potentially-carcinogenic nature of sausages. Who commissioned a poll to say that people like sausages?

However, a survey of 2,000 UK meat-eaters carried out by debbie&andrew’s sausages found that Britain is nowhere near ready to give up on cooked breakfasts and toad-in-the-hole.

That’s right – a sausage manufacturer says you shouldn’t stop eating sausages.

“People get viruses and infections!” says cleaning product company

Are women the weaker sex? ‘Man flu’ myth debunked as females more likely to take sick days

THE COLD and flu virus is rife with various strains being spread across the nation, causing coughs, sore throats and even the dreaded norovirus.

The number of people getting in with the viruses is higher in winter, and the bad weather can even exacerbate existing health conditions.

Source: Express, 14th November 2016


Straight out of the ‘men vs women’ PR playbook – in which you poll a load of people and then split the results down binary gender options, knowing full-well that one of those groups statistically has to outperform the other – we have the ‘research’ that shows that women take more sick days than men. According to the manufacturer of cleaning products:

Sickness statistics revealed by Dettol’s survey of 2,000 people, found 30 per cent admitted that they called in sick more than once this year alone due to a cold.

Of course, had the stats worked out as showing that men took slightly more sick days than women, Dettol could run a very similar article, gaining just as much column inches, regardless of the outcome of their survey.