“Children are hiring helicopters to get to their prom!” says comparison website, again

Spray tans, sharp haircuts and arriving by helicopter: How BOYS are giving the prom queens a run for their money on the big night

Buying a brand new outfit, getting a spray tan and arranging a luxury mode of transport are all essential when you’re going to prom – and not just for the girls.

Research has revealed that teenage boys are now giving their dates a run for their money when it comes to preening for the big night.

Source: Daily Mail, 28th October 2016

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Unlikely news from the Daily Mail here, which revealed the latest ‘research’ showing that boys take preparing for the prom even more seriously than the girls, including getting spray tans and other pampering to look their best. These implausible-sounding findings are undermined by an even more ludicrous discovery:

Ten per cent choose to arrive in an unusual mode of transport such as a motorbike or even a helicopter.

While it might seem an easy thing to check how many children have hired helicopters to get to their school dance, and to discover that the number is not quite enough to describe as a growing trend, it appears neither the Mail nor The Times did so – both of whom uncritically printed this press release from comparison website Go Compare:

Figures from a study by Go Compare reveal that six per cent of boys now get a spray tan in advance of the event.

Go Compare clearly know when they’re onto a good thing, given that they published an almost identical story in 2014, and a staggeringly similar one in 2013. It seems this ‘growing trend’ line has become an annual tradition for the company, and with such easy and uncritical coverage, why not?

Ironic that this story probably would have been spiked if anyone at either newspaper decided to ‘go compare’ this year’s press release to those from previous years.