Tag Archives: huffington post

“Britain’s Horniest students sleep around!” says website looking to help students sleep around

Did you hear the one about Britain’s Horniest Student? The Mail, Metro, Star and Huffington Post have all told the tale today of Elina Desaine, recently awarded the controversial title:

Girl who bedded three men a week named ‘Britain’s horniest student’ in revolting online competition where young women are encouraged to have sex at university for cash prize

A computer science student who boasts of sleeping with up to three men every week has been named Britain’s Horniest Student after entering a degrading online competition.

Elina Desaine, 20, doesn’t even know the names of all her sexual partners, but tries to keep track with handwritten list using descriptions such as ‘French guy’ and ‘third year’ to recall her trysts.

Source: Daily Mail, 14th November 2013

If you’re thinking to yourself “I didn’t know that was a real award”, give yourself five points for memory, but minus five points for skepticism – it’s not a real award. Instead, it’s a publicity stunt competition by the website ShagAtUni:

The University of Exeter student received £500 and a year’s supply of condoms after winning the competition run by controversial ‘no strings attached fun’ website, Shagatuni.com.

This is literally therefore nothing more than an overt advert for a sleazy hook-up site, disguised as news. In fact, here’s the full press release up on their website – demonstrating just how much the media lifted and churned the PR copy they were given.

This isn’t the first time ShagAtUni – a site whose motivation and business model is near-cryptic in its opaqueness, given the name they’ve elected to call themselves – has made the news with this competition. In fact, launching the competition itself made just the same splash in the Daily Mail, back in early October.

Given the reward in the competition – almost £1000 in total – and the nature of the site promoting it, it’s fair to say the exact details of the winner’s story are open to questioning.

Of course, that this is nothing but an advert for a sleazy website won’t stop the endless stream of slut-shaming on Twitter – demonstrating neatly the damaging and detrimental effect this level of Bad PR can have on the perceptions of women, of the young, and of the newspapers.

Here’s an ongoing selection of the public reaction to this non-story – see if you can spot a common trend:


Ultimately, as ever, the only message of this article is this: ShagAtUni is a thing, and they want you to go there and use their service. Everything else is just a wrapper.

“People still have teddy bears!” says hotel chain looking to get in the news

March 4th, 2012

From the Daily Mail on February 22nd:

Bear necessities: 35 per cent of British adults ‘still take a teddy to bed with them’

They’ve been keeping children happy for years and are a godsend for many parents when trying to keep their little ones quiet.

But it would seem it is not just youngsters who appreciate the soothing benefits of the teddy bear – it still occupies a special place in the hearts of many grown-ups too.

Research has revealed that 35 per cent of adults in Britain have admitted they still sleep with a teddy bear to help them de-stress and sleep at night.

A total of 6,000 Britons were surveyed by hotel chain Travelodge to learn more about the country’s fascination with the teddy bear.

The whole story came from a press release from Travelodge, who commissioned the research partly to learn more about our fascination with teddy bears, but more specifically to get their name into the newspapers.

“People are grumpy in the morning!” says fruit juice sellers

February 19th, 2012

Tuesday’s Huffington Post reported:

If you find yourself waking up on the wrong side of the bed more often than not and the alarm clock snooze button is your friend, you’re not alone – a third of Brits wake up grumpy.

Frankly, in the middle of a bleak, dark and cold February, I’m shocked it’s only a third of us who wake feeling pretty down. But, as ever with these stories, the stats trotted out are second fiddle to the company name the story is designed to promote, so it’s little surprise to see in the next paragraph:

A survey by YouGov and PomeGreat discovered more than a third of adults in the UK dread getting out of bed and blame their early morning mood swings on work stress.

Well, at least they’re not burying it way down the page. Not mentioned is the PR firm who devised the story, but Pomegreat’s Contacts page suggests this is the work of Twelve Thirty Eight.

Still, let’s have a quick look at the stats, for funsies:

Of the 2,032 people questioned, one in four wished they didn’t have to go to work, with women dreading the day ahead the most.

Of course, why simply promote a product when you can write in a ‘men vs women’ angle to whip up the commenters below the fold. So, women are worst hit when it comes to dreading their day? Sort of…

Despite previous studies telling us that early morning risers are ‘slimmer, happier and healthier’, over 29% of women feel miserable at the start of the working week, compared to 26% of men.

So, in actuality, there’s just 3% in it. I’d be interested to see how this passes a statistical significance test – but I imagine such a test hasn’t been anywhere near this story. Instead, I’d wager that a load of people were asked some pretty generic questions, and the sample set was then datamined to get the results we’re reading here… simply to get this fruit juice a few column inches. Speaking of datamining, the article continues:

And it’s (unsurprisingly) Monday mornings that cause the most misery, and it’s the Welsh that feel the most blue, as 34% of them struggle to scramble from under the duvet, compared to 30% of Londoners, 28% Northerners and 27% of people living in Southern England.

And now we’ve had the data, let’s hear from the spokesperson/expert trotted out in the press release:

Work has become so stressful, more and more of us are producing the cortisol hormone in reaction to stress. This causes us to become irritable, anxious, aggressive and as a result, more unhappy in general,” Dr. Dorian Dugmore, a cardiovascular expert from the study, said in a statement.

A cardiovascular expert, you say? Well, I’m sure he’s the best person to speak to about sleep, waking, diets and nutrition – after all, he specialises in none of those fields, and is a heart specialist… 

What’s more, there’s nothing to back-up his claim that work is more stressful than it used to be, or that ‘more and more of us’ are feeling the effects of stress. But he’s a heart expert, so he must just know that kind of stuff.

“There are plenty of things that we can do to lift our spirits in the morning. A good shower and a balanced breakfast, including a glass of juice, have been clinically proven to improve our mood.”

And bingo – we have a juice connection. Have a glass of juice in the morning, and you’re clinically proven to feel in a better mood, apparently. And what kind of juice might you want to drink? Well it just so happens that Dr Dorian Dougmore is the spokesperson for Pomegreat juice:

It’s enough to make you grumpy, no matter what time of day it is.