Tag Archives: george charles

“People have sex!” says voucher company looking for cheap headlines

Sex news now, with the Sun reporting on the most popular sexual positions around the country:

The North East loves it doggy style and East Anglians prefer the reverse cowgirl… but what’s the favourite sexual position in YOUR area?

In some cases, it seems that our favoured positions for bonking come down to the region we live in

WHEN it comes to sex, we all have our preferences.

But, in some cases, it seems that our favoured positions for bonking come down to the region we live in.

Source: The Sun, 9th February 2017

While there is doubtlessly some value to genuine researchers studying how different populations go about their sexual relations, it’s fair to say this isn’t that – this is PR-based market research to deliver an advert for a promotional voucher website:

The research, which was conducted by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, was part of an ongoing study into Britons’s intimate lives.

“Women love to be harassed on the street!” says voucher company and PR firm, on International Women’s Day

Sometimes, Bad PR stories are almost too perfect in the way they encapsulate the problems in PR and in the media. Take, for instance, today’s story from the Daily Star, which appeared on page 8 of the print edition:

You can whistle 

Wolf calls survey anger

Some women actually like being wolf-whistled, accoridng to a provocative survey on International Women’s Day.

One in 11 – or 2.4 million – said they took it as a compliment.

But campaigners on the women’s rights day blasted the research’s “poor timing”. Despite it being treated as a hate crime, 39% of women told the study they “actively encourage” cat-calling and “hope” they will be wolf-whistled at.

Source: Daily Star, 9th March 2017

Astonishing, you might think, that the Daily Star would run a story that suggests that so many women actually enjoy being harassed on the street – and on International Women’s Day at that! But at least the Star had the good decency to ensure they published a story which ostensibly was at least critical of cat-calling, or of the survey, right?

Well, that’s the funny thing – the original press release didn’t condemn cat-calling at all, and played the street harassment angle for a bit of cheeky fun, highlighting how being wolf-whistled on the street actually makes women feel confident and desirable. I know it did, because I saw the original release:

1 in 11 British Women LIKE Being Cat-Called

New research has revealed that one in eleven British women like being cat-called, with 39% of these stating that they ‘actively encourage’ catcalls and ‘hope’ they will be catcalled when they leave the house. Furthermore, 15% of women admitted to finding unavailable men attractive.

According to new research, one in eleven British women actually like it when men cat-call them, with many confessing that they boost their confidence and that they leave the house hoping to encourage that kind of attention. Furthermore, 15% of women confess to being attracted to unavailable men, with the majority stating that it makes them feel ‘more desirable’.

There was no mention of International Women’s Day, at all (although there is surely no chance the story wasn’t timed to deliberately appear on that particular day). There was, however, a nicely prominent mention of the originators of this story:

The team at www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk conducted the research as part of an ongoing study into British attitudes towards each other. 2,488 British women aged 18 and over were quizzed about the way that they’re treated by others and vice versa, and what they look for in a potential suitor.

So where did the condemnation come into it, and where did the reference to International Women’s Day come from? All I can surmise is that the original story was so completely tone-deaf and exploitative in its overt brandwagoning that it was too sexist even for the Daily Star to publish in its original format.

So, half marks go to the Star for at least recognising and toning down the misogyny of the original, though it would have been far more ethical to simple never run the story in the first place. Clearly they had an editorial change of heart, because the online version of the story disappeared a little while after it had been published:

Of course, the Star ought to realise that the Internet never forgets, and the cached version of the story can still be read.

If the Star get half marks for their effort, zero marks have to go to VoucherCodesPro, the market research company used to compile the data (I’m pretty sure there is only One polling company likely to have been behind this one), and to the PR company who worked up this story for them – 10 Yetis.

As a wonderfully ironic wrinkle, 10 Yetis have a Bad PR blog of their own, with their daily “Examples of Good and Bad PR” news feed.

In it they pour through the day’s news to highlight examples of PR done very well, and PR that backfires, has a poor reception or comes from a less-than-positive place. As a marketing tool, I’m sure it does wonders for the ethical perception of their agency, that they talk about the ethics and effectiveness of work done in their industry.

I wonder if they have the ethical integrity to add their own cynical and counter-productive International Women’s Day brandwagoning effort to their Bad PR round up tomorrow? I won’t hold my breath.

“Kids get loads of tooth money from the tooth fairy these days!” says online voucher company

Tooth fairy now brings children SIX POUNDS a tooth – but only if they live in the North West

The Tooth Fairy appears to be giving children in the North West a whopping £6 per tooth.

New research has revealed the regional favouritism by the Tooth Fairy, highlighting a £5.50 difference per tooth between the highest and lowest paying regions.

Those in the North West receive on average £6 per tooth, while those in the West Midlands get on average 50p per tooth.

Source: Daily Mail, 4th November 2016

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Coming straight out of the classic ‘kids these days have it too easy’ file, the revelation that children get money for their lost teeth, and that given the nature of inflation, that monetary amount differs from the amount you received as a child, if the thoughts of a doubtlessly-suspect market research poll can be believed, which of course they can’t. A poll which was commissioned, incidentally, by online polling company and serial Bad PR players Voucher Codes Pro:

The team at www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk conducted the research as part of an ongoing study into Britons’ finances, with a particular focus on children’s pocket-money politics.

George Charles, spokesperson for www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, made the following comments:

‘It doesn’t seem fair that some get more from the Tooth Fairy than others, but ultimately if the child is happy with a visit from the Tooth Fairy then it doesn’t matter what is left behind in exchange for the teeth that have fallen out.

‘It’s interesting though that the majority of children go shopping for sweets following the loss of a tooth; probably not something that dentists would advise, but hey, they’re going to lose their baby teeth anyway.’

It’s not so much an insight into the rising cost of childhood tooth loss, as it is an advert for a company that makes money distributing online money-off vouchers and has no better way of marketing a product that is quite so intangible than to run dodgy PR surveys in the national news.

“Vegetarians are secretly eating meat!” says voucher website looking for attention

A third of vegetarians own up to eating meat on nights out

A survey of nearly 2,000 so-called vegetarians finds more than two thirds admit to eating meat on a night out – with one in three doing it every time they get drunk.

A third of vegetarians admit to eating meat every time they get drunk, according to a survey.

Two in five of 1,789 vegetarians questioned owned up to treating themselves to a sneaky kebab after a few drinks.

Source: Independent, 8th October 2015

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A third of ‘vegetarians’ eat meat when drunk on a night out

The survey found 69 per cent of so-called veggies said they kept their meat eating a secret from friends and family

A third of so-called vegetarians eat meat when they are under the influence of alcohol, a survey has found.

One in three have also said they eat meat every time they were drunk on a night out with kebab meat and beef burgers being the most common.

Source: Telegraph, 8th Ocotber 2015

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Those sneaky vegetarians! I knew it all along! Surely this story has to be true, and there can’t possibly be any other explanation for how a ‘finding’ like this could appear in two national newspapers, right?

The survey was conducted by money-saving website Voucher Codes Pro.

George Charles, founder of the website, said: “I know a few ‘vegetarians’ who sometimes crave meat, but it seems that a few are giving into their cravings when drunk.

“I think it’s important for friends of these ‘vegetarians’ to support them when drunk and urge them not to eat meat as I’m sure they regret it the next day.”

In fact, it’s just a case of a discount voucher website trying to do anything to get a mention in the paper, just to remind you they still exist.

“Buying junk food for kids is expensive!” says voucher website with deals on takeaways

A third of children eat junk food every day – but many parents lie about it for fear of being judged

Parents spend on average £26 a month feeding their children fast food, pizza and burgers – and most lie to their friends for fear of being judged.

A survey found more than a third of children under 10 are eating junk food every day.

This is despite parents saying they try to monitor their calorie intake and worrying their children’s consumption of crisps and chocolate is ‘out of control’.

Source: Daily Mail, 27 May 2014

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Keeping up with the requirements of the obese generation is no easy task, with one in three children under the age of 10 apparently eating ‘junk food’ every day – totalling around £26 per child, per month. That’s a scary-sounding statistic, especially when you’re not forced to define precisely what counts as ‘junk food’. That said, we are offered a list of the most common junk foods for children:

Takeaway pizza was the junk food children were most likely to eat. This was followed by chocolate, which 26 per cent of parents said their children ate regularly, while 17 per cent of parents said their children consumed food from fast food chains most often.

The apparent disparity between junk food being consumed ‘daily’ while the most common foods are consumed only ‘regularly’ isn’t one that’s explored in any real detail, nor is it clarified where parents are finding daily takeaway pizza for an average of 85p per day. It’s as if the stats aren’t the real purpose of the story… Speaking of which, if you think this article appears in the news solely in order to raise awareness of the crisis of children’s diets, think again:

A fifth of parents admitted they regularly lie to others about how much pizza, chocolate and crisps their children are eating to avoid being judged by their peers or seen as ‘cheap’.

The survey, by discount website www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, analysed the shopping habits of 1,426 parents who had at least one child aged 10 or under. This revealed that the average spend per child was £26 every month.

George Charles, of VoucherCodesPro, said: ‘Parents may be lying about how much junk food they feed their kids because they’re worried about looking ‘cheap’ but that couldn’t be further from the truth.’

So, not only is it terrible that kids eat so much junk, but it’s also expensive, despite how ‘cheap’ it might seem. Fortunately, of course, there are great deals and savings to be had by visiting VoucherCodesPro, the discount website who paid for this story to appear as news. Let’s hope they didn’t spend too much on it.

“Men are attracted to the colour red!” says voucher website confusing ‘men’ and ‘bulls’

“Men are attracted to the colour red!” says voucher website confusing ‘men’ and ‘bulls’

There we have it, ladies – if it’s a man you’re after, you’d best wear red. Similarly, if you’re looking to bag yourself a bull, wearing red works for that too. Wear too much red and, presumably, you’re in danger of dating a minotaur.

Still, while there’s nothing groundbreaking in the revelation that women look attractive when dressed in red, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a company behind the article looking to cash in on a well-worn stereotype:

‘Whilst it may well be considered fickle to base the odds of a second date with someone on the colour they choose to wear upon an initial meeting, the fact is that we make our primary assessments of potential partners extremely quickly,’ said George Charles of vouchercodespro.co.uk, who commissioned the research.

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“Smoking might harm your employability!” says voucher website selling e-cigarettes

“Saying ‘sex’ helps us get our name into the newspapers!” says voucher company looking for coverage

Playing into some easy stereotypes around drunk men and disappointed women, who is the company using sex to make the headlines this time?

George Charles, marketing director of Voucher Codes Pro, which commissioned the survey, said: ‘The emphasis of wedding night sex for married couples is no longer a huge factor.

‘It may be that the stress and pressure of organising a wedding takes the main priority, especially considering such a large proportion of couples have been living together for years.’

“People use Facebook!” says voucher company reminding you they exist

Breaking science and technology news! The following articles appeared in the Science and Technology sections of the Telegraph and Daily Mail recently:

Britons spend 86 hours a year ‘stranger stalking’ on social media

The average Briton will spend a total of 14 minutes each day, or 86 hours in a year, looking at strangers’ social media profiles, according to new research.

The study into online behaviour, conducted by money saving website www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, polled a total of 2,704 UK adults (1,336 females and 1,368 males) aged 18 and over on their specific social media habits while online.

Source: Telegraph, 20th September 2013

We’re a nation of stalkers: Britons spend three DAYS a year tracking people they don’t know online – with 14% setting up fake profiles to check up on people

Have you ever looked at photos of your partner’s ex, or stalked their work colleagues on Facebook or Twitter? According to new research more than 80 per cent of us do this on a daily basis.

The study, carried out by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, found the average Briton spends a total of 3.5 days a year looking at the profiles of strangers, a practice dubbed ‘stranger stalking.’

Men were found to most likely look at random profiles of people they find attractive, whilst women were more likely to check on potential new partners of their exes – and 14 per cent of Brits admitted to setting up fake profiles to check up on people anonymously.

Source: Daily Mail, 26th September, 2013

You’ll have noticed who provided this highly-technological and scientific research – voucher website ‘VocherCodesPro. So, rather than this being a piece of useful research, it’s merely a reminder that some websites exist to help users save money.

As for the troubling finding that broad swathes of the population routinely stalk strangers on social media, it may or may not be true – the ‘research’ doesn’t really care either way.

Speaking of social media – be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for the latest Bad PR!

“People use Facebook!” says voucher website looking for headlines

“People use Facebook!” says voucher website looking for headlines

Who is the money-saving website incongruously dropped into the third paragraph, and responsible for the awfmanteau* ‘famicable’?

Just under half (47 per cent) keep family members and family of loved ones as friends because they feel they have to, the poll for VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, found.

George Charles, marketing director of VoucherCodesPro, said: ‘It seems with the results of this study, the old saying about keeping your friends close, but your enemies even closer, is definitely alive and well even in today’s society with our reliance on the internet.’

VoucherCodesPro, exploiting meaningless social media truisms with terrible marketing portmanteaus, just to remind you they still exist.

*trademarked, just now.