Tag Archives: IllicitEncounters.com

“Women are cheats and can’t be trusted!” says affairs website

Like mother, like daughter: Women are more likely to cheat on their husbands if their mothers were unfaithful too

They say ‘like mother, like daughter’, and now new research reveals an unexpected twist to the adage.

A poll of 2,000 Brits found that women who cheat are often following in their own mother’s illicit footsteps.

According to the research, seven out of ten women who cheat on their husbands have mothers who were unfaithful too.

Source: Daily Mail, 6 May 2014

The Daily Mail, here, advancing the hereditary hypothesis of infidelity. However, the source of the statistics ought to offer a pinch of doubt:

The results were revealed in a new poll of 2,000 people who have had affairs by Illicit Encounters, Britain’s biggest extra-marital dating site.

Not only is this story nothing more than a simple advert an online hook-up site, but it features an interesting take on statistics, too: even assuming the results are accurate (and that’s not an assumption we ought to make lightly), what we’ve found isn’t a truism about the general public, as the survey sample included only people who had signed up for a cheating website.

If you only survey people who have elected to join a site like ‘Illicit Encounters’, you haven’t gathered the opinions of those who have offline affairs… or those who have no affairs at all. Thus it’s perfectly possible (and, indeed, likely) that children of cheating parents (male or female) don’t go on to sign up for a help-me-cheat website, and therefore don’t appear in the statistics of this particular PR piece.

Of course, why let the facts get in the way of a good publicity opportunity?

“Lots of companies use Christmas as an excuse for publicity!” says everyone, in the Daily Star

Christmas is a great excuse to get coverage for your company – a point which was unintentionally made astoundingly clear in the Daily Star last week, in a story with perhaps the most PR-per-inch of any I’ve ever seen.

“People who shop in supermarkets have affairs!” says extramarital dating website

Back in August, our shopping habits were under scrutiny:

How to spot a cheating spouse? Check their shopping basket

Bored spouses looking for an extra-marital affair are more likely to shun the bargain bin in favour of more upmarket supermarket brands, according to a new survey.

Although the poultry and vegetable displays may not be the most romantic setting, researchers have found that the weekly food shop is for some a prime opportunity to catch someone’s eye while checking out the “deal of the week” at the same time.

Source: Telegraph, 16 August 2013

Infidelity in aisle three: Is shopping at Waitrose a sign a chap is cheating?

Ladies, has your other half taken to shopping solo at Waitrose? Gents, is the woman in your life popping to Sainsbury’s a lot?

Then it seems you may have cause to worry about your relationship.

A survey has examined the shopping habits of those who are considering an extra-marital affair.

It found that the number one supermarket for such men is Waitrose, while for women it is Sainsbury’s. Tesco, Asda and the Co-op also featured prominently.

Source: Daily Mail, 16 August 2013

Who conducted the survey?

Dating website IllicitEncounters.com quizzed their 800,000 members to find out more about their shopping and cheating habits.

IllicitEncounters – an ‘extramarital dating’ website. It’s fair to say their users perhaps don’t reflect the habits of your average Waitrose shopper. What we’ve found, if we actually trust the results (and I wouldn’t, personally), is that users of an affairs website also shop at Waitrose.

What we haven’t found is that people who shop at Waitrose have affairs – and we especially haven’t found that shopping at Waitrose is a sign your spouse is having an affair. Which, universally, was the headline of the coverage.

View the original press release.

View the Churnalism.com rating.

“Married women have sexy affairs!” says extramarital dating website

“Married women have sexy affairs!” says extramarital dating website

With statistics like these, perhaps extramarital affairs are far more commonplace – and downright fun! – than we previously would have though. Or, perhaps someone with a vested interest in normalising and glamourising affairs in the media paid for this very article. Well…

A spokesman for Illicit Encounters, who carried out the research, said: ‘Since the release of the first Bridget Jones book, the internet has launched a sexual revolution – enabling people to rediscover passion and romance – including more than six per cent of the UK’s married population signing up to our site.

Illicit Encounters are behind this ‘latest research’; they’re the dating agency for married people. Yeah.

“The new iPhone will lead to more affairs!” says extramarital dating website

“The new iPhone will lead to more affairs!” says extramarital dating website

“People who have jobs have affairs!” says extramarital dating website

“People who have jobs have affairs!” says extramarital dating website

Who paid to put this story into the Daily Mail?

A new study, by website Notatwork.co.uk and married dating site IllicitEncounters.com, found those doing the most hours also reported a higher than average number of work-based affairs.

Both websites are related to a string of ‘extramarital dating’ businesses.

View the original press release.

View the Churnalism.com rating.

How many Daily Mail editors does it take to correctly attribute an article?

A few days ago I highlighted a story, based on a press release from an ‘extra-marital dating website’, which took two Daily Mail journalists to write – even though 71% of the story was copied exactly from the original press release. You can catch up on the details here if you missed it.

Well, it appears there may be more to this than I first thought – after I tweeted the two journalists involved directly, I had the following exchange with Andrea Childs:

It’s the first time I’ve seen this press release or article. No idea why my name is on it… I do interviews for YOU mag so maybe name left on a template from old feature put online? I am going to check.

This, then, asks an interesting question: did the Daily Mail really attribute a story to a journalist who had seen neither the press release nor the finished article? Simply by neglecting to delete her name from a submission template?

If so, we’re in the quite amusing position whereby the Daily Mail are so used to copy/pasting entire articles, they’ll even copy whatever name is on the submission form – and their fact-checking skills are so atrophied as to entirely miss the error.

This from the most-read news website in the world, too. Interesting.

How many Daily Mail journalists does it take to copy 71% of a press release?

There was bad news for footballers the world over recently, as a fourteen-paragraph news article written by two Daily Mail journalists ranked the sportsmen lowest in the ‘sexy profession’ charts:

Sorry Becks, women have rated the sexiest professions … and ‘vain and over-confident’ footballers come last

Previously it has been assumed that most women would jump at the opportunity to date David Beckham, but not if the latest research is anything to go by.

A new survey asked women what they thought the sexiest profession was for a partner and the top result has been revealed as a musician or artist, while footballers come last with just 1 per cent of voters finding the athletic profession sexy.

Source: Daily Mail, 29 January 2013


There was no appearance in the list, of course, for journalists, but I’m sure the pair at the Daily Mail – Andrea Childs and bad-pr regular Bianca London – fare perfectly well for themselves.

Quite why it took two professional journalists to pen fourteen paragraphs of copy isn’t clear – especially when the copy came from a press release by extramarital ‘dating’ website IllicitEncounters:


How much of the fourteen-paragraph news article came from the press release, and how much from the two professional journalists credited with writing it? Churnalism.com has the answers…


That’s just 29% of the news story coming from the professionals at the Daily Mail – or just less than 15% each. The rest was penned by IllicitEncounters’ PR guy Mike Taylor, who defended his work to me over Twitter:


“It’s not for me to decide what is actual news but as for the research I can assure you of it’s (sic) legitimacy”

This, I think, is where the world of Bad PR gets interesting. Let’s for a moment leave aside the belief that the research is legitimate (Mike may well believe it is, but very valid issues exist around cherry-picking, leading question wording, self-selected sample groups, poor polling methodology and – in the case of surveys via companies such as OnePoll – the incentivisation of participants to take part in surveys not designed for them, and to spend as little time as possible on their participation). 

Instead, let’s take a look at where the responsibility lies here. Who is the bad guy? Is it Mike Taylor, creating opportunistic pseudo-articles (‘Isn’t it time we had a more progressive Pope?‘ asks find-and-fuck dating website) in order to get his client into the press? Isn’t that just Mike’s job, and as he rightly says there ought to be someone out there filtering out the nonsense created by people like him?

How about Bianca London and Andrea Childs – isn’t it their responsibility to write better stories, to ignore useless PR puff-pieces such as this nonsense from IllicitEncounters, to use their platform to find real stories and report what’s really important? Or is it that, as a primarily fashion journalist, Bianca is instead repeatedly tasked with producing inordinate levels of content for the largest and least discerning online publication in the world, including 13 articles between February 14-15 alone, and in August last year as many as 101 articles in a single month? How would even the best of journalists keep up standards under such conditions?

Perhaps it’s the fault of the newspaper – shouldn’t the Mail Online put a stop to the damaging ‘publish anything’ mentality which pressurises journalists into the open arms of PR types from seedy websites and lowers the standards of journalism across the board? Or is it that in a world of free online news and falling revenues, the anything-goes publishing mentality keeps the advertising revenue stream profitable and facilitates the little genuine journalism that remains, as the newspaper survives as a profit-making enterprise?

The real blame, unfortunately, has to lie a little with each of these, and yet ultimately with none of them. The news system is broken, and even as each cog in the machine quietly turns correctly in its own direction, the entire news machine drives further over the cliff. 

“People have affairs!” says extra-marital ‘dating’ website

Is January 7th the day when men are most likely to have an affair? Yes, says the Daily Mail:

Lock up your husbands! TODAY is the most adulterous day of the year (PLUS: Five signs your partner is cheating)

If you’ve had an uncomfortable festive season punctuated by rows, then watch out! 

Today is the day people are most likely to start an affair – and the tensions of the Christmas period are partly to blame.

Traffic on married dating websites shoots up by 25 per cent on 7 January, new research has revealed.

Source: Daily Mail, 7 January 2013


It would seem married couples have good cause to fear January 7th, then… or they would have, were this not a press released placed by ‘extra-marital dating’ website Illictencounters.com, who it’s fair to say have something of a commercial interest in promoting the idea that affairs are increasingly commonplace.


“Isn’t marriage boring?!” says extra-marital ‘dating’ company

July 21st, 2012

From the Daily Mail, July 17th, 2012:

Post-nuptial remorse? Over half of all British married couples regret saying ‘I do’

Your wedding day is meant to be the happiest day of your life – and at the time it most likely was.

But, as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have found out, that feeling does not always last.

In fact more than half of all married couples in Britain admit they have felt regrets about tying the knot, and even the person they chose to tie it with, according to new research.


So it seems we are a nation upset with our choices of partner, and desperately worried about having to spend our lives with the same lover forever. What fools we all are! Or, not, because:

Additionally, many couples that took part in the survey – which was conducted by independent body OnePoll on behalf of married persons dating website IllicitEncounters.com – stated they regretted getting married even before the first year was over; a shocking 11 per cent regretting getting married on their actual wedding day.

This story was indeed based on a poll by OnePoll – we know OnePoll well, and to call them an ‘independent body’ is quite ludicruous. OnePoll are the survey arm of 72 Point, a full-service PR company who secure press coverage for IllicitEncouters.com. Press coverage like:

And I could go on.


IllicitEncounters.com, for the uninitiated, is a website offering ‘extra-marital dating’ – so it couldn’t be clearer to see where they might have an interest in encouraging married couples to doubt and regret their fidelity.