“Some drivers are better than others!” says car-care company

Terrible driving news now, with reports in the Sun and the Express that the worst drivers have changed their stereotypical car brand preferences:

JAG RACERS Jaguar drivers are Britain’s worst with eighty-six per cent admitting to speeding

The car owners, such as Labour peer John ‘Two Jags’ Prescott, have now overtaken BMW to top the shame list

JAGUAR drivers are Britain’s worst motorists, research has found.

A survey discovered 86 per cent admit speeding, 71 per cent regularly fail to indicate and half jump red lights.

Source: The Sun, 28th February 2017

Worst drivers in the UK REVEALED – Do you drive one of these cars?

BRITAIN’S worst drivers have been revealed in a new survey, which explored the worst driving habits motorists admitted to doing on UK roads.

According to the new study, Jaguar drivers are the worst in Britain after admitting to several bad habits included, speeding, talking on their phones whilst driving speeding and not wearing seat belts.

Source: Express, 24th February 2017

Bad news for Jaguar, but good news for BMW… and even better news for the originators of this story, tyres and autocare company National:

The data, released by National.co.uk, discovered that four fifths of drivers admitted to at least one of the offences.

Both newspapers lifted heavily from National’s press release on their study, with much of the copy reproduced verbatim.

“Your boss is holding you back!” says recruitment consultant

Career progression news now, with the Daily Mail reporting on the factors that are holding people back from getting ahead in their jobs:

The five golden reasons you’re not getting ahead at work (and everyone but YOU is noticing) 

If you’re struggling to secure that much coveted promotion and can’t figure out why, you may need to take a look in the mirror.

According to experts, there are five golden ways you’re hindering your chance of promotion – and everyone but you is aware.

Source: Daily Mail, 7th March 2017

Are you struggling for recognition at work? The Daily Mail is worried you are. Or, more specifically, they’re worried you are on the behalf of recruitment consultancy CV-Library:

From losing your temper to keeping quiet in the wrong situations, Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, reveals the ways you’re wreaking havoc with your career.

Well, perhaps when you’re done ‘wreaking havoc on your career’, you should turn to CV-Library for help – after all, they only careers they’re jeopardising are the journalists who regurgitate their PR guff unfiltered.

“Your officemates have terrible manners, haven’t they?” says recruitment site

Office etiquette news now, with the Independent reporting on the worst things an office-mate can do around their colleagues:

Six biggest workplace lunchtime taboos from eating smelly food to taking no break at all

Earlier this month, Lloyd’s of London, the insurance market, slapped a ban on its employees drinking alcohol during the working day

When you work in close proximity with the same people day in day out, it’s inevitable that you’ll get peeved off by some of your colleagues’ seemingly unremitting habits.

Source: Independent, 27th February 2017

Those officemates of yours, they’re annoying and rude, aren’t they? Perhaps you should leave your job and look for new colleagues, right? That’s the message the originator of this story wants to send:

At lunchtime, scope for annoying work mates (both in a food-related and in a non-food related ways) is particularly high, according to CV-Library, one of the country’s biggest online job sites…

“Although how you choose to spend your lunchtime, and what you eat is down to personal choice, it’s clear that there are certain faux pas that professionals find hard to ignore,” said Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library.

So while you’re considering the etiquette of your current colleagues, why not consider getting a new job, perhaps via CV-Library, right?

“Giving stuff up for Lent leads to lots of savings!” says vouchers website

Catholic abstinence news now, with the Daily Mail reporting on the things we should have given up over Lent:

How to save £1,000 this Lent: Experts reveal how quitting coffee, cigarettes and CHOCOLATE could help you put aside enough to buy a designer handbag

It’s traditionally a time for abstinence and experts say Lent will not only give your willpower a boost but your wallet too.

Money-saving specialists claim you can save hundreds of pounds this Lent by ditching your vices including coffee, chocolate and ice cream.

In fact quitting so-called ‘addictive’ products such as sweets, pizza and even smartphone purchases could help you make a total saving of almost £1,000 – enough to buy a coveted Mulberry Bayswater tote.

Source: Daily Mail, 23rd February 2017

I’m positive Catholics across the nation are delighted to learn that the Daily Mail is in their corner, especially at a time of moderate sacrifice. Although it’s fair to say the Mail has motives beyond assuaging Catholic guilt – like filling their pages with readily-available, search-engine-optimised PR copy:

That’s according to the money saving team at PromotionalCodes.org.uk who have calculated how much money we could save we they successfully ditch our cravings for 40 days and 40 nights.

Where in the Bible does it say that when you’re giving things up for Lent you can’t also make a buck or two? Well, nowhere really, mainly because there’s nothing about Lental sacrifice in the Bible, but that’s neither here nor there, as the PR spokesperson can attest:

Darren Williams from Promotionalcodes.org.uk said: ‘Usually Lent is about sacrificing something that you love, and often people tend to give up products that are unhealthy for them.

‘However, there could also be serious benefits to your wallet as well as your health when it comes to cutting out your cravings for Lent.

‘Britain has a major binge culture, and if people are able to cut out just one of the products that they love to indulge in the savings could be enormous.

Forget demonstrating your fealty to Jesus Christ, with these voucher-led savings who can afford not to Lent? Right, Promotionalcodes?

“People have sex!” says sportswear brand, needlessly

Sex news now, with the Express reporting on the amount of sex you’re apparently meant to be having:

How much do YOU have sex? Average amount of time people spend in the bedroom REVEALED

ARE you having as much sex as the average person? A recent survey has revealed how much time we really spend in-between the sheets. How do you compare?

Source: Express, 7th February 2017

So just how often should you be having sex? And how often should that last? Well, the real answer is obviously “whatever works for you, nobody gets to set a limit and determine what’s right and what’s wrong”. But the answer in the Express is somewhat different:

That makes up 0.45 per cent of our lives, according to sports brand Reebok.

What has Reebok got to do with sex, you might wonder? Well, again, the real answer is obviously “nothing”.

“Sitting down all day can lead to health problems!” says private healthcare company

Lethargy news now, with the revelation that we spend a lot of our time sitting down:

Chair-bound Britons spend 9 HOURS of their day sitting down (the same as a flight to the Caribbean)

If you think you spend all day sitting down, you’re probably right.

In fact, workers in Britain spend nine hours on their backsides each day – the equivalent of a flight to the Caribbean, a new poll found.

Most are spending five hours every day locked firmly in their office chair, managing to escape only for lunch and a quick stretch of their legs.

Source: Daily Mail, 7th February 2017

This isn’t just any old PR story that we’ve seen a million times before – this one is special:

An exclusive survey of 2,000 people for the MailOnline asked people about their daily sitting habits.

An exclusive survey for the MailOnline! Astonishing stuff. Does this mean it’s real research, rather than PR frippery? Not so much:

Jan Vickery, ‎head of musculoskeletal services for AXA PPP healthcare, who commissioned the research, said:, comments: ‘Sitting for prolonged periods of time can create muscle and joint problems and exacerbate existing ones.

Nope, it’s just an ad for private healthcare. Quite the exclusive…

“Your precious children are STILL unprotected online!” says internet security company. Again.

Internet security news from the Daily Mail now, with the revelation that kids online get access to things they shouldn’t:

Internet porn is seen by a tenth of children by the age of 10: Third have also seen violent scenes while online

More than 10 per cent of children have seen hardcore pornography on the internet by the age of just 10, research has found.

Shocking statistics by researchers at cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab, found that 11 per cent of 10-year-olds had been exposed to porn on a device in their homes, either a mobile phone, tablet or home computer.

Source: Daily Mail, 10th February 2017

I would highlight what’s wrong with the stats in this research, and I’d highlight that it’s commissioned by an internet security firm (Kaspersky Labs) who have a vested interest in scaremonger, and I would point out that the lack of valid research methodology utterly undermines any finding you could draw from this data… except, I already did all of that, back in October.

Back then, it was a story in the Daily Mail about a survey of 1,000 kids aged 10-15, 11% of whom had seen pornography and 28% of whom had seen violence online. In fact, as far as I can tell, it’s precisely the same story. Which raises two possibilities:

  1. The Daily Mail ran the same press release from Kaspersky Labs twice, five months apart
  2. Kaspersky Labs released the same press release (or at least the same data) twice, five months apart

Either way, Kaspersky Labs got a double hit out of their data, and parents got a double-dose of scaremongering.

“Working in an office can be expensive!” says building society

Office news, from the Daily Mail, with the revelation that working in an office is terribly expensive:

Office tea runs, whip rounds and sponsoring colleagues for charity cost you £40,000 over your working life

Office workers will spend an astonishing £40,000 in whip-rounds for colleagues, tea runs and other incidentals by the time they retire, research claims.

The bill, which also covers work clothes, socialising with colleagues and sponsoring them to do charity events, works out at £1,000 a year, a survey reveals.

Source: Daily Mail, 9th January 2017

Is this really a tale of whip-round whingers? Perhaps not, with the obvious inclusion in the figures the total-bloating additions of “work clothes” and “socialising with colleagues” – hardly what springs to mind when worrying about the cost of working in an office. In fact, as it breaks down:

The survey found that on average workers spent £102.24 a year on drinks and nights out with colleagues, £96.48 on Christmas parties, £66.60 on birthday cards and presents, £66.36 on the tea run, £64.32 on sweets and treats, £50.28 on leaving presents, £47.04 on wedding gifts, £44.64 on charity and sponsorship requests, £43.92 for colleagues’ new babies and £39.24 on retirement gifts.

Such precise figures, for such imprecise measures! Fortunately, accurate representations of office live aren’t the point of this story; instead, the real message is in the originators of the press release:

The £40,000 total, calculated by Nationwide Current Accounts and based on a 40-year working life, equates to around two years’ take-home pay for the average UK worker.

As ever, it’s just an embellished, embedded advert, disguised as news, this time promoting a building society current account.

“Do some housework, you lazy oik, it’s good for you!” says private healthcare company

Infographic news now from the Daily Mail, with the revelation that doing housework can burn calories and improve health:

Can you guess which household chore burns 300 calories? Revealed, the health benefits of vacuuming, cleaning your car and mowing the lawn

Staying fit can be difficult at the start of the year.

Cold, wet weather combined with dark evenings can severely restrict our gym attendance.

But everyday activities such as housework may be able to provide just as many physical benefits, while also supporting mental well-being.

Source: Daily Mail, 15th February 2017

Good to know that basic housework is so good for our health. That said, the originators of the ‘research’ may have some influence on its findings:

In a new infographic, AXA PPP Healthcare has revealed the true benefits of doing typical household activities for an hour…

David Williams, from AXA PPP healthcare, said: ‘Household chores such as hoovering, tidying and changing sheets all exert energy and are great all-round exercises.

‘They also can be of great help in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other medical conditions.’

Infographics, as we’ve seen before, are an easy and reliable way of getting coverage for a brand. How valid the ‘info’ they’re ‘graphicking’ is can be quite another matter entirely.

“You may want a divorce later in life!” says divorce law firm

Divorce news, in the Telegraph, with the news of a rise in divorce rate among couples living with their grown-up children:

Rise of the cuckoo couples: how children returning to the nest with their new partners could be fuelling divorce among older generation

To many parents with grown up children, the prospect of them joining the so-called “boomerang generation” and moving back in with them, even temporarily, might be a welcome return and a chance to relive happy memories.

If they also have a spouse or partner and children to bring along, many will welcome that even more.

Source: Telegraph, 5th January 2017

Leaving aside the pejorative “boomerang generation” title (aka a generation unable to adequately save up deposits for spiralling house prices due to the burdens of rising rental costs from private landlords), that there’s a spoke in divorce seems a surprising outcome, if true:

Divorce lawyers report a small but growing number of relationships breaking up because of the influence of so-called “cuckoo couples” – adult children and their partners moving and effectively driving out their stepfather or stepmother.

That the report is made by a firm likely to cash in on any spike in requirement for divorce advice somewhat lessens the independence of the research.

Sam Hall, a partner in Hall Brown Family Law, said he is now seeing dozens of such cases a year. He estimates there has been a fivefold increase in the last three years in the number of second marriages ending because of the tensions generated by having adult children living under the same roof.

The national-news-worthy incidence of divorce under these circumstances is apparently as high as “dozens”. That’s “dozens” of “boomerang-caused” divorces, out of a divorce rate of around 110,000-120,000 per year, incidentally. Quite the epidemic. Says Sam:

“What may be relatively normal domestic disagreements between two parents living on their own are given an extra edge by the presence of an adult child and often perceived as a taking of sides.

“Most of these cases involve at least one spouse who has previously been divorced or widowed. They may have viewed a second marriage as a means of comfort in later life but have told me that exiting an unhappy relationship as preferable to remaining in a marriage made intolerable by these sorts of pressures.”

And if these reasonable people want out of these intolerable relationships, I’m sure Hall Brown Family Law are only too happy to capitalise on the nudge this story may provide.