Category Archives: Superdrug

“People have sex!” says pharmacy company launching a range of lubricants

Sex news in the Daily Mail, here, with the revelation that you’re statistically likely(ish) to be having sex at a certain point on a Sunday morning:

Sex O’Clock: Survey reveals 9am on Sunday is the most popular time to get intimate – but don’t expect passion to peak at 9pm on a Tuesday!

You’re not alone if you enjoy morning sex on the Sabbath.

New research shows that 9am on a Sunday is the most popular time of the week for British couples to get busy between the sheets.

While Tuesday at 9pm is the least desirable opportunity for intimacy, according to a survey of 2,000 adults.

Source: Daily Mail, 1st February 2017

The company behind this piece of research?

Commissioned by Superdrug, the results also noted that Saturdays are collectively more popular than every other day.

Ironically enough, Superdrug were also the company who in 2011 claimed, based on equally sound research of theirs, that women only feel sexy once per week – on a Saturday night (except, of course, when they’re buying the requisite products from Superdrug to feel better about themselves).

So I suppose we have to believe that most women have sex when they aren’t feeling sexy, or that over the last six years the social landscape has shifted by around 12 hours like the libidinal equivalents of tectonic plates. Or, perhaps, Superdrug’s research is meaningless PR guff. Motivated PR guff, indeed:

Conveniently, Superdrug co-ordinated their research with the launch a new range of of sexual lubricants.

It’s more than a little rich of the Daily Mail to play the knowing “conveniently” line here, when they conveniently publish PR non-stories like this on a daily basis in their quest for cheap and plentiful clicks.

“The attractive celebs pictured here wear fake tan!” says cosmetics retailer

Which UK city beat Essex to be fake tan capital of the United Kingdom?

A survey has found people in this city buy more bottles of fake tan each year than any other city with girls taking their lead from perma-tanned celebs

Liverpool has been unveiled as the tan-gerine capital of the UK.

A survey has found Scousers buy more bottles of fake tan each year than any other city.

Source: Mirror, 23rd August 2015

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Fake tan mitts at the ready! Liverpool is crowned the most bronzed city in Britain knocking the tangoed residents of Essex into second place

Essex has long been considered the tanning capital of the UK, but it appears the home of Amy Childs, Lauren Goodger and co has been out-bronzed – by the tangerine ladies of Liverpool.

Beauty giant Superdrug has released its 2015 Tanning Map Of Britain, which shows the areas that hit the (fake tan) bottle the most. The research found that scousers fake it best while Essex’s Basildon came in second place.

Girls in the north of England are clearly taking the lead from sun-kissed celebrities like former Strictly Come Dancing champion Abbey Clancy, WAG Coleen Rooney and model Danielle Lloyd.

Source: Daily Mail, 26th August 2015

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While it’s undoubtedly true that one location in the country must inevitably spend more than others on buying a commonly-bought product, it’s fair to say that’s more of a hook for the story than a piece of groundbreaking research. It’s fairer still to say it’s primarily an excuse to pack the paper with photos of well-known celebrities to draw a little attention to the company behind the story:

The survey found Superdrug stores sell one million bottles of fake tan in the UK each year with 25-34 year olds spending the most on it.

Megan Potter, Head of Beauty at Superdrug said, “It’s fascinating to see a dramatic difference in sales across various cities in the UK.

“Liverpool ladies are renowned for their glam style and always look red carpet ready wherever they go.

“We’ve also seen a significant growth in sales of bronzing in the Essex area with programmes such as The Only Way is Essex fuelling the appetite for a perma-tan.”

Interestingly, if not predictably, this glorified advert made quite a splash in the local papers – not just in Liverpool as it was crowned top of the pile, but also in third-placed Manchester and fourth-placed Birmingham, too. Which just goes to show that while fake tans might be popular, fake news stories are even more so.

“Women spend ages doing their make-up!” says cosmetics industry, CONSTANTLY

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and I understand that ‘regular’ is a bit of a stretch for a blog that takes entire years off at times), you’ll know that some angles are just sure-fire ways of getting yourself some media coverage.

Take, for instance, the claim that women spend large amounts of time applying make-up. Pretty standard stuff, right? It’s a fairly 1980s-comedian, suit-sleeves-rolled-up, stood-in-front-of-a-brick-wall, ‘what is the DEAL with…’ observation, right? Well, that doesn’t stop it making national news, including in the Daily Mail this week:

That’s a lot of lippie! Women spend TWO YEARS of their life applying make-up, splashing more than £12,000 on cosmetics

Sick of being nagged about the amount of time you take to get ready? Well new research shows that our partners may have a point.

According to new research, women spend almost two years of their life doing their make-up.

The recent study suggests that over a lifetime we spend an average of 722 days perfecting our health and beauty regimes – and all that prep doesn’t come cheap.

Source: Daily Mail, 27th August 2015

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I know what you’re wondering, and no, that’s not how anybody has ever spelt ‘lippy’. Also, you might be wondering who the company is behind this story, and I won’t keep you in suspense any longer on that one either:

The poll of 1,000 women, commissioned to mark the launch of Vaseline Spray Moisturiser, also revealed that one in ten women will spend up to two hours a day getting ready.

“But a sprayable moisturiser!”, I hear you cry, “That’s going to save me LOADS of time!” Or at least that’s pretty much what Vaseline hope you to think, at some level, when you read this story. It is literally the only reason that this story exists: to highlight to you a problem in your life, and then present to you the solution.

This isn’t a new phenomenon, as you might imagine – but you’d be surprised how often the commercial PR industry manages to bag coverage in the media by using stories of ‘shocking’ findings on how much time women spend applying makeup or how much they spend on cosmetics over the lifetime. For instance, back in March 2010 Superdrug told us that women spend £9,000 on make-up throughout their lives, and spend 330 days applying it:

Face value: How the average woman spends £9,000 on make-up in her lifetime

For many women, a new lipstick or eyeshadow can be a cost-effective pick-me – but a new survey has revealed that they will spend an average of £9,000 on make-up in a lifetime…

The poll, conducted by Superdrug for the launch of its new Make Up Academy range, revealed that the average woman spends nearly 20 minutes a day perfecting their look – a total of 330 days over her lifetime.

Source: Daily Mail, 17th March 2010

But then in July 2011, Bionsen deodorant informed us that women spent £100,000 in their lifetime on beauty products:

Women spend over £100k on make up in a lifetime… and would rather dump their boyfriend than go barefaced

It will come as no surprise to the women who despair at the rising cost of cosmetics.
With their clever marketing ploys and promises of youth, big beauty firms have women in their grip.

And as a new study shows, this addiction to cosmetics does not come cheap. Figures reveal that women fork out a staggering £100,000 on cosmetics over their a lifetime, according to a new study.

Source: Daily Mail, 29th July 2011

Where did that additional £91,000 come from? Even accepting that not all beauty products are in the make-up category, that’s still a hell of a lot of toner and shaving wax. Though it didn’t stop the Daily Mail running a second article on the same claim by Bionsen, a fortnight later.

Looking to 2012, and while we’ve no monitory claim we do have St. Ives informing us that women spend 43 weeks of their life applying make-up:

Women spend 43 weeks of their life applying make-up and perfecting their face before a night out

Most men think women take too long getting ready and now they may have the proof.

The average British woman devotes 91 hours a year to applying their make-up – that is 43 weeks a lifetime perfecting her face.

Women in the south typically take longer to prepare for nights out and dates than those in the north, with 12 per cent spending 45 minutes to one hour each day.

Source: Daily Mail, 18th July 2012

What a result! 43 weeks is just 301 days, meaning women have managed to shave off 10% of their time spent on beauty treatments since Superdrug’s 2010 report! Way to go girls, that’s efficiency for you! Sadly, such efficiency was never destined to last, and by just seven months later, Harley Street semi-permanent make-up clinic ‘Specialist Make-up Services’ broke some bad news:

That’s a LOT of slap! Women spend a year and three months of their lives applying make-up

It’s been said women take a lifetime getting ready and it has now been revealed the average British woman will spend over a year of her life putting on her make-up.

A new survey into women’s daily beauty regimes shows UK women spend a colossal 474 days – one year and three months – in their lifetime putting on cosmetics, the equivalent of over a whole week every year.

Source: Daily Mail, 20th February 2013

The second half of 2012 was a dark time for women, where on average each day they lost a full day of their lives to make-up application. A year later, online retailer FeelUnique.com dealt women a further blow:

Average woman spends £15k in her lifetime replacing make-up she has lost

Women mislay so much makeup they spend a staggering £15,872 replacing it during their lifetime, according to a new study.

The research found losing expensive cosmetics now costs the typical British woman £248 a year.

Those who do their makeup on the morning commute are some of the worst hit, with one in three leaving some on public transport.

Source: Daily Mail, 9th May 2013

Back in March 2010 women were only spending £9,000 on make-up in their lifetime, but by May 2013 they’re spending almost double that amount on make-up that never gets fully used? What a nightmare. I mean, it’s bad enough that women are shedding expensive make-up items left, right and centre, but it’s a further kick in the teeth that the ones most heavily hit are those who try to claw back a few precious minutes from the make-up abyss by multitasking their cosmetic routine with their commute.

Fast-forward to a few months later Superdrug came along to revise their estimates:

Price of beauty: Average woman will spend more than £18,000 on her face in a lifetime

From anti-ageing moisturisers to blemish-hiding foundations and lash extending mascaras – it costs money to look good.

And now the price of beauty has been calculated in a study that has found the average woman will spend more than £18,000 on her face in her lifetime.

Source: Daily Mail, 11th September 2013

Either women’s make-up consumption had doubled between 2010 and 2013, perhaps to keep in line with the apparent exponential growth in the time they spend applying it, or Superdrug must be pretty embarrassed to have originally underestimated their market by such a huge margin. If anyone ought to know how much money there is in the cosmetics market, it should be them. Still, we finally have entirely-accurate figures at least – a point which the Daily Mail celebrated by running the exact same story again, a fortnight later.

Superdrug’s best estimate stood for a few months, only to be challenged in January 2014 by ‘Health and Wellbeing Retailer’ (I know, right?) Beurer:

Women wear make-up for more than half their life: One in five admit they would refuse to open the door while bare-faced

The average woman will spend more of her life wearing make-up than not, according to a new report yesterday.

In a typical day, women will have a face full of cosmetics for nearly 13 hours a day and will have just 11 hours free from it.

Researchers surveyed a total of 2,000 women in a detailed study about women’s make-up habits and beauty routines.

The poll by health and wellbeing brand Beurer found the typical woman puts on her ‘face’ at precisely 8am and spends 11 minutes applying it.

The research discovered that the average women will spend £121 on cosmetics in a typical year and has around 13 items in her make-up bag.

Source: Daily Mail, 30th January 2014

Stick with me, as there’s a bit of maths to do here: if we roughly estimate that women wear make-up from the age of around 16 and continue to do so all the way up to the end of her life expectancy at 71, we can see that £121 per year is around £6,700 across a lifetime. Equally, 11 minutes spent applying each day works out at a little over 153 days. Crude estimates, of course, but it’s clear that Beurer’s extensive and entirely-respectable research comes in way, way below the figures we’ve seen thus far.

However, if anything, Beurer’s research just shows the value of peer review – because a few months later FeelUnique.com hit back, blowing the paltry £6,700 estimate out of the water:

Women spend £100,000 on make-up in their lifetime … and 60% say they would rather ditch their man than go without cosmetics

Ever wondered just how much we spend on make-up over our lifetime, or how much star power really affects the way we shop?
A new infographic reveals just that, showcasing a collection of research from dozens of British surveys into women’s and men’s grooming habits.

Source: Daily Mail, 1st July 2014

This one is a truly staggering finding – not only does it dwarf the previous figure, but it raises all other make-up estimates by an order of magnitude. Our previous record was set by Bionsen in 2011, who estimated the cost of all cosmetic products at £100,000 – yet FeelUnique.com claim their £100,000 figure only includes make-up. That’s a staggering rise of over 1000% from Superdrug’s obviously-accurate and utterly-reliable £9,000 back in 2010.

Clearly, 2014 was a golden age for the make-up industry, who could presumably expect to earn over three trillion pounds over the lifetimes of the 32.2m women in the UK. Strange, then, that the entire cosmetics industry (of which make-up represents a slice) was worth only £8.4 billion in 2013, according to the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association.

Perhaps the CTPA foresaw the oncoming crash of the cosmetics industry, which presumably happened between July 2014 and August 2015 – or how else could we account for Vaseline finding women’s total lifetime make-up spending to be an eighth of of the 2014 ‘research’? And what has happened in women’s lives that mean, according to Vaseline, they spend almost five times as much time applying make-up as Beurer claimed they did in 2014?

In case you’re struggling to keep up, here’s a simplified version of the ‘findings’:

Date Company Industry Time Money
March 2010 Superdrug Cosmetics Retailer 330 days £9,000
July 2011 Bionsen Deodorant £100,000
July 2012 St Ives Facial scrubs 301 days
February 2013 Specialist Make-Up Services Cosmetic clinic 474 days
May 2013 FeelUnique.com Cosmetics Retailer £15,872*
September 2013 Superdrug Cosmetics Retailer £18,000
January 2014 Beurer Wellbeing Retailer 153 days** £6,650***
July 2014 FeelUnique.com Cosmetics Retailer £100,000
August 2015 Vaseline Moisturiser 722 days £12,000

* figure is based on how much make-up women lose in their lifetime, not how much they buy
** 11 mins per day for 55 years, ie from aged 16 until life expectancy at 71
*** £121 per year for 55 years, ie from aged 16 until life expectancy at 71

So, what have we learnt? Well, the next time you see a story in the paper revealing the shocking amounts of time and money women spend on cosmetics, you should bear in mind that the model in the picture isn’t the only part of the story that’s totally made up.

“Men need to be better at buying presents for women!” says shop selling presents for women

You know how men are completely clueless and baffled simpletons when it comes to anything at all, especially when it comes to their partner? A bit like the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Huffington Post told us recently:

Wife’s bra size? Dress size? Date of birth? This might sound like basic information but millions of men haven’t the faintest idea 

Millions of men are completely clueless when it comes to choosing a Christmas gift for their significant other a new survey has found.

39 per cent have no idea what their wives’ bra size is, while another 23 per cent don’t know what dress size she takes.

Most shamefully of all, 12 per cent don’t even know their other halves’ date of birth.

Source: Daily Mail, 26 November 2012

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We poor, befuddled, baffled and idiotic men! Millions of us are astonishingly ignorant about our lady partners (presumably the Mail is only talking about heterosexual married couples, it seems). We sit across the breakfast table, staring blankly at the stranger looking back at us, desperately trying to place where we’ve seen her before, and what she does for a living, and what her favourite perfume is. Because knowing your wife’s favourite perfume is one of the absolute most important details you can know. We know this is true for two reasons:

1) The article in the Mail makes this very clear to us:

The survey also found that 34 per cent of men have no idea what their partners’ favourite perfume is and 24 per cent don’t know what her favourite clothes shop is…

…Not surprisingly, the research, conducted by high street beauty retailer, Superdrug, also found that 40 per cent of couples have fallen out because the man has forgotten – or not bothered to ask – about things he ought to know.

That would be high street beauty retailer and perfume seller, Superdrug, informing men that forgetting which perfume your wife wears will lead to a falling out. This comes, bear in mind, one month before Christmas…

2) The article is a near duplicate of an article which appeared in the Mail in February 2010, which also spoke of ignorant men neglecting basic pieces of information on their partners, such as date of birth, eye colour and… favourite perfume:

Think he knows you? Think again! How millions of men don’t know their partner’s dress size, date of birth, or even eye colour 

Facing each other over the breakfast table each morning, a husband and wife might think they know everything there is to know about each other.

In his case, he would probably be wrong.

Millions of British males are astonishingly ignorant about their partner’s basic characteristics including clothes size and even eye colour.

Source: Daily Mail, 09 February 2010

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The source of the story back in February 2010 – five days before Valentine’s Day – was the Perfume Shop, as made explicit in the article at the time:

According to a survey of 2,000 men buying scent for their female partner at the Perfume Shop, six out of ten believed they knew her inside out.

So, if this data was from men caught walking out of the Perfume Shop, what gives? Has Superdrug hijacked the research to run an almost-identical story over two years later?

I doubt it – in fact, the original piece wasn’t actually a survey of men buying perfume for their partner in the perfume shop, but was in fact an online survey from 72 Point’s ubiquitous nonsense factory OnePoll… as was the latest survey put out on behalf of Superdrug:

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This leads to some rather intriguing questions, it’s fair to say. For instance, was the data gathered by the Perfume Society back in 2010 so stunningly accurate that almost three years later it correlates so closely with the figures gathered in a follow up study?

Or, conversely, was the data gathered in the survey commissioned by the Perfume Shop repackaged, slightly updated and then re-sold as being for Superdrug much later? We know for certain Superdrug were behind the latest story, as their press release is still featured on the 72 Point site, so this certainly isn’t a case of Superdrug rechurning the work done for the Perfume Shop brand.

Most intriguingly, if the latter, are Superdrug aware that the stats they’re running with are potentially almost three years outdated? When I called Superdrug’s PR agency Z-PR to ask them, I was told the research was “unequivocally brand new research, which (the PR contact) commissioned herself”. Curious…