Monthly Archives: November 2016

“Emojis are great, and important!” says mobile phone retailer

 

How well do YOU know your emoji? Researchers find just one in five of us are experts – and you can take the test to find out if you’re one of them

Emojis have become a staple of modern communication, with new characters released every few months, and one even being crowned the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year in 2015.

But according to new research, we still have no idea what many of them mean.

A new survey has revealed the most ‘confusing’ emojis, from the huffing face to the smiley with its tongue out, and just 1 in 5 people are able to describe them all correctly.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th November 2016

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Ah, emojis – the tiny, simple little symbols that serve as an alternative to words and functional expression. Where would we be without them? Well, exactly where we are with them, given that they’re largely purposeless. But don’t let that hold you back from using them as the centrepiece for a press release, if you happen to be a mobile phone retailer:

Roughly 82 percent of Brits use emoji regularly, and 44 percent of people use them to clarify the meaning of their messages, according to the new research from online mobile retailer e2save.

Even if the ‘research’ were true, or indeed were actual research, surely nobody makes decisions based on emoji, right?

‘Emojis are so popular nowadays that they are often a factor for people when it comes to deciding which handset to purchase,’ said Andy Cartledge, Marketing Assistant at e2save.

‘With such an interest in the icons, it’s surprising to see so many of us misunderstanding their meanings, evidently we need to be more careful in our emoji selection before hitting the send button.’

Evidently the people selling us mobile phones do think we need careful, expert advice as to which mobile phone to buy.

“Time to start planning your Christmas dinner!” says supermarket chain

Favourite Christmas food REVEALED – and it is NOT the turkey

FORGET the reindeer, the mistletoe and even the tree – Christmas just would not be Christmas without ROAST POTATOES.

The humble roast potato beat turkey, stuffing and Christmas pudding as the most popular food on December 25.

Carrots took the second spot ahead of turkey, gravy, stuffing, ‘pigs in blankets’, parsnips, sprouts, Christmas pud and Yorkshire pudding.

Source: Daily Star, 10th November 2016

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UK’s favourite food to eat on Christmas Day revealed

What is the most popular food for a festive dinner?

Britain’s favourite Christmas dinner ingredient has been revealed – and it’s not the turkey.

When it comes to the festive meal, most families opt for turkey with all the trimmings, followed by a mountain of Christmas pud and a good old family row.

Source: Independent, 10th November 2016

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Christmas is approaching fast, which means the joy of a big Christmas roast – the greatest of all meals in the calendar, and the highlight of the festive period for so many. So it’s little wonder that the Independent dedicated a whole article to the subject of the best food for Christmas dinner, and even less of a wonder that the article was a press release for a supermarket chain:

But, according to a survey of 2,000 Asda customers, the festive bird doesn’t take the top spot.

The survey, which marks the launch of Asda’s Christmas TV advert this week, also highlighted the 10 days of Christmas, and pointing out that December 5 is the day most of us put up our tree, decorations and watch our very first Christmas-themed movie.

It’s bad enough that the PR and advertising industry has insisted the John Lewis Christmas advert is a ‘thing’ so often that it’s started to catch on, but now we have other big companies trying to jump on the brandwagon. Ho ho ho.

“Staying in a hotel is fun!” says travel company

How many hotel sins are YOU guilty of? From stealing bathrobes to lying for an upgrade, tourists confess all

Hotels far and wide have been known to bring out people’s rebellious streak.

According to a new study, 39 per cent of British guests, for example, confess to having stolen items, and 41 per cent are guilty of sneaking more guests into a room than they booked for.

So how many of the top ten rules have you broken?

Source: Daily Mail, 9th November 2016

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Reading this list of things you shouldn’t do in a hotel really gives you a few ideas, doesn’t it? It really makes you think about what you could do next time you stay in a hotel, right? It really makes you want to go book a holiday soon so you can be in a hotel before you know it, don’t you think?

According to Sunshine’s poll, 52 per cent of Brits have checked out later than they were supposed to, making this the most common sin.

Sunshine, the company behind this story, is a travel company, in case that wasn’t clear from the tone and pitch of the article.

“Being a ‘sugar baby’ is glamorous!” says ‘sugar daddy dating’ website

‘I date more than I work!’ Mother, 24, reveals how SUGAR BABY dating helps her to support her three children after leaving an abusive relationship – but she insists it is not prostitution

A mother-of-three who became a sugar baby while fleeing an abusive relationship insists that she will support her children if they one day decide to follow in her footsteps — but she is making sure they will never financially need to do so.

Samantha, 24, from Tuscon, Arizona, is one of the the fifteen finalists in the 2017 Sugar Baby of the Year contest hosted by Seeking Arrangement, a dating site that pairs attractive young women with wealthy older men who will financially care for them.

Source: Daily Mail, 8th November 2016

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That’s right, it’s yet another advert in the Daily Mail for ‘Sugar Daddy dating’ website Seeking Arrangement – the website whose business model is almost indistinguishable from prostitution, yet who never struggle to get the Daily Mail to publish 1200 words and a dozen soft-core photos by way of promotion.

“Having children is expensive!” says price comparison website

The pink tax strikes again! Girls cost £30,000 MORE to raise than boys – and experts say it’s all down to clothes and makeup

They say little girls are made of sugar and spice but it seems they are also made of money – and lots of it.

It has emerged that girls cost a staggering £30,000 – more than the average UK annual salary – to raise than boys.

Experts found the cost of raising a child from birth until the age of 18 came to £79,176 for a boy and £108,884 for a girl – a difference of £29,708.

Source: Daily Mail, 9th November 2016

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Real research? Or just a reason to mention a price comparison website in the press?

The study, by MoneySuperMarket.com, found it was girls’ clothes, toiletries and makeup that weighed most heavily on their parents’ wallets.

“Your house is a ticking timebomb of maintenance costs!” says insurance company

WARNING over YOUR home: Almost one in five are maintenance ‘timebombs’ this winter

ALMOST one in five homes are maintenance ‘timebombs’ as the winter months approach according to a new survey.

Leaking roofs, broken boilers, blocked guttering, blown electrics and rising damp are only a taster of the problems hitting owners in the pocket as they strive to keep their home in good condition.

In fact, for 18 per cent, owners of 3.2m properties, their dream home has turned into a maintenance nightmare which they lose sleep over, according to a new survey.

Source: Express, 8th November 2016

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With winter upon us, the Express took the time to highlight that our ailing and ageing homes are just one step away from a costly catastrophe as maintenance fees threaten to bite. The Express highlighted this on behalf of an insurance company:

Nearly half (48 per cent) of the 1,800 owners questioned by insurers LV= admit they do not have the knowledge or skills to do their own maintenance work around the house.

In fact, the Express highlighted this specifically on behalf of an insurance company who has launched a new ‘property MOT’ service, to help you identify what maintenance fees might be around the corner:

Selwyn Fernandes, of LV=, which has just launched a free online property MOT service, said: “Keeping up with home maintenance can be a tough and time-consuming job, so it’s understandable that many homeowners might ignore problems or put off important work.

“However, it’s important to keep on top of maintenance and ignoring problems in the home can lead to more serious issues developing and could jeopardise the validity of your home insurance.”

“Fungal nail infections are serious and important!” says fungal nail infection treatment

Fungal nail infections: Poor hygiene could be to blame for contagious foot condition

FUNGAL nail infections are deemed one of the most embarrassing foot conditions, over verruca’s, warts, bunions even athlete’s foot.

Shockingly, this embarrassment means over one in five – 23 per cent – sufferers admit feeling so self-conscious that they refuse to walk barefoot in their own home, and 15 per cent make excuses not to take their shoes off when visiting others.

Source: Express, 8th November 2016

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Fungal nail infections are no laughing matter, as this extensive article highlights, including quotes from expert podiatrists to tell you all about the importance of looking after your toes, especially if you have a fungal nail infection.

Which makes sense, given the company behind this press release:

Treatments include Canespro Fungal Nail Treatment Set, which experts said is clinically proven to remove the infected parts of the nail in two to three weeks.

While we’re on the subject, I’d be astonished if any marketing company (let alone an online polling company) was able to reliable assemble 2,000 people who suffer from fungal nail infections in order to take this survey, especially for the likely cost of putting this story together. My suspicion is that this story originated from an online poll which attempted to screen people out by asking “Do you suffer from fungal nail infections?” – which, if your incentive scheme relies on people taking as many polls as possible, is hardly impenetrable.

“People are scared to take sick days when they have colds!” says throat lozenge

Another Brexit bonus… staff ‘sickies’ slump: Growing fears over job security means number of days taken off falls

Growing fears over job security have fuelled a slump in ‘sickies’ in the workplace, according to a new report yesterday.

For the latest research shows that the number of days British workers are taking off for coughs, cold and flu has fallen once again, as concerns over job security, Brexit and letting colleagues down have combined to keep the workforce battling into work even when ill.

Source: Daily Mail, 8th November 2016

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That’s right, the fear of losing your job due to chaos and uncertainty in the job market is just ‘another’ Brexit bonus – chalk them up, that’s… well, one, now. And not even one, as this isn’t really a true bonus, or a true fact about reality, but instead it’s an advert for a throat lozenge:

The annual Fisherman’s Friend Cold and Flu Survey found that while last year’s annual study recorded the first rise in eight years in terms of the number of days taken off by UK workers, the latest study found that the average worker took just 1.67 days off in the last year for minor ailments (2015 – 1.85). This is despite suffering with three bouts of illness that would usually have merited more time off work.

Leaving aside that there’s not a great deal of evidence that throat lozenges are particularly effective at remedying the symptoms of a cold, it’s worth highlighting that the revelation that people are taking fewer sick days isn’t taken from a review of employers, but an opinion poll which asked people to recall their sickness record – a method which is open to all manner of biases and inaccuracies. Which is fine, because neither the Daily Mail nor Fisherman’s Friend need the story to be accurate, they just need it to be chock-full of numbers and assertions so that it resembles a news article, rather than the advert it is.

Of course, the quote from the official spokesperson helps cut through any suspicion that this is serious research, and exposes the motivation of the company in putting the PR survey together:

“Despite last year’s rise in the number of days off for the first time in eight years, this year’s Fisherman’s Friend Cold and Flu Survey once again shows that workers’ concerns are real and have an impact on attitudes towards taking time off work to recover from illness,” said Fisherman’s Friend spokesman Rob Metcalfe.

Nevertheless, whatever the motivation for workers’ concerns when ill, what is clear is that more than eight out of 10 of us will have suffered with a cough, cold or flu on at least one occasion in the last year, showing how important it is for workers to manage their symptoms if they want to power through when suffering with minor ailments.”

“Some parts of the world are quite nice!” says travel company

A Harry Potter movie setting, chandeliers and exposed rock faces: The 12 most beautiful subway stations around the world revealed

The daily commute can be monotonous enough to break even the most positive of travellers.
But imagine if your morning journey to work took you through an art deco palatial station, or the setting for a Harry Potter movie scene.

Not everyone’s commute is equal – some travellers get to hurry through these venues twice a day on their way to and from the office.

Source: Daily Mail, 7th November 2016

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The amazing revelation that some countries have some quite nice buildings in them is brought to you by:

The travel company Pettits has compiled a list of the most beautiful subway stations around the world.

“Everyone is getting their teeth done!” says cosmetic dentist

Young people are being misled in their quest to get an Essex smile as they aren’t told their £1,000 tooth veneers need replacing every 10 years

The desire for TOWIE teeth: the bright, white, straight smile sported by reality TV stars such as Joey Essex, X Factor’s Rylan Clark and, more recently, Geordie Shore’s Chloe Ferry, is putting fans in debt, a survey has found.

Keen to emulate their idols, young people are being misled over ‘quick-fix’ tooth veneers that could end up costing them £100,000.

Source: Daily Mail, 7th November 2016

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While this may initially seem like a responsible story warning young people about issues in maintaining whitened veneers on their teeth, it’s hard to ignore the repeated celebrity endorsements, the reminder that everyone is placing more emphasis on the appearance of their teeth, and the company behind the data presented:

Now a One Poll survey of 1,000 16 to 30-year-olds commissioned by the London Smile Clinic found that 58 per cent who had veneers fitted were not told how long they would last.

The key message clearly appears to be: everyone is paying to have their teeth whitened and fixed, because it’s really very important, so it’s important to choose the right company to go with – such as the company who paid for this artictle.