Tag Archives: independent

“Time to start planning your Christmas dinner!” says supermarket chain

Favourite Christmas food REVEALED – and it is NOT the turkey

FORGET the reindeer, the mistletoe and even the tree – Christmas just would not be Christmas without ROAST POTATOES.

The humble roast potato beat turkey, stuffing and Christmas pudding as the most popular food on December 25.

Carrots took the second spot ahead of turkey, gravy, stuffing, ‘pigs in blankets’, parsnips, sprouts, Christmas pud and Yorkshire pudding.

Source: Daily Star, 10th November 2016

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UK’s favourite food to eat on Christmas Day revealed

What is the most popular food for a festive dinner?

Britain’s favourite Christmas dinner ingredient has been revealed – and it’s not the turkey.

When it comes to the festive meal, most families opt for turkey with all the trimmings, followed by a mountain of Christmas pud and a good old family row.

Source: Independent, 10th November 2016

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Christmas is approaching fast, which means the joy of a big Christmas roast – the greatest of all meals in the calendar, and the highlight of the festive period for so many. So it’s little wonder that the Independent dedicated a whole article to the subject of the best food for Christmas dinner, and even less of a wonder that the article was a press release for a supermarket chain:

But, according to a survey of 2,000 Asda customers, the festive bird doesn’t take the top spot.

The survey, which marks the launch of Asda’s Christmas TV advert this week, also highlighted the 10 days of Christmas, and pointing out that December 5 is the day most of us put up our tree, decorations and watch our very first Christmas-themed movie.

It’s bad enough that the PR and advertising industry has insisted the John Lewis Christmas advert is a ‘thing’ so often that it’s started to catch on, but now we have other big companies trying to jump on the brandwagon. Ho ho ho.

“People waste their money and are rubbish at saving!” says building society

Britons spending hundreds of pounds a year on takeaways

Households having an average of three takeaways a month

Curry-loving Britons could find themselves spending more than £300 a year enjoying their favourite takeaways, research suggests.

Source: Independent, 12th October 2015

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City News: Nationwide, Burberry, Chartered Institute

CURRY-LOVING Britons could find themselves spending about £340 a year enjoying their favourite takeaways, research suggests.

Research for Nationwide Building Society Current Accounts found that consumers enjoy an average of three takeaways a month, with people spending £9.41 each time they have a curry. The research, released to mark National Curry Week, also found that 70 per cent of men said they cannot last more than two weeks without a takeaway, compared with 42 per cent of women.

Source: Express, 12th October 2015

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Important financial news here, featuring as it does in the ‘City News’ section of the Express. Casual readers might wonder why a report on the nation’s takeaway trends warrants coverage in the financial section of national newspapers, but the source of the press release offers some insight:

Research for Nationwide Building Society Current Accounts found that consumers enjoy an average of three takeaways a month, with people spending £9.41 each time they have a curry.

So the story is little more than an advert for Nationwide Building Society’s current accounts. That doesn’t help shed much light on things, until you factor in Nationwide’s marketing around their current accounts, such as this article from July 2015:

Cook from scratch

Self-sufficiency in the kitchen means deconstructing your cooking and learning to create great dishes from scratch. How about swapping your Friday night curry from the local take-away for one put together at home by mixing your own herbs and spices; or turning mince into your own homemade burgers for the barbecue?

In fact, the story is just a way to make readers question their spending habits, and then question what decisions they could make to ensure they have a little spare cash here and there – decisions, presumably, Nationwide want to be the organisation to help them make.

“Meeting in public can compromise your privacy!” says meeting room hire company

Where you’re most likely to overhear other people’s business secrets

Coffee shops and restaurants were the most common places to eavesdrop on a private conversation

Londoners are incapable of holding their tongues in public, according to a survey. Nearly half of those asked confessed to having discussed their company’s business secrets in a public space.

Source: Independent, 2nd October 2015

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it seems that conducting business meetings in public places can pose a serious security risk, according to this survey by a meeting room hire company:

Nearly 50 per cent of all Londoners have overheard at least one private business conversation in a public space, while 47 per cent have started one, according to a study by MeetingRooms.com.

According to Caleb Parker, CEO of MeetingRooms.com careless talk can cost any business a lot of money and embarrassment

“Whether it’s a competitor stealing your new product idea or an investor overhearing sensitive financial information, it’s clear from the study that while companies spend thousands, if not millions, every year protecting their data from hackers, their biggest data security threat is people sharing too much in a public place,” Mr Parker said.

With so much privacy at risk, it’s a good thing MeetingRooms.com are here to remind us, with an entirely civic-minded motivation, that meeting rooms can be hired.

“Everyone’s getting a beard transplant!” says surgeon willing to do ridiculous procedure

Wannabe hipsters can get a beard transplant for £7,000

A check shirt, waistcoat and fixed-gear bike used to be enough to set the aspiring hipster on his way. For the whiskerless wannabe, it seems that something more drastic is now required: a beard transplant.

Rising numbers of men are having facial follicle grafts to achieve the bushy look favoured by trendy urbanites, surgeons say. The cultural link between beards and masculinity is also fuelling demand in some ethnic groups.

Source: The Times, 3rd October 2015

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Men are spending thousands on beard transplants

Men said they had spent up to £14,500 on beard transplants.

Men are spending thousands of pounds to fill in their patchy beards, as the number of beard transplant procedures increases dramatically.

Men surveyed by The New York Times said they spent up to £14,500 on beard transplants to achieve a fully groomed look.

Source: Independent, 2nd October 2015

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Beard transplants really are all the rage, aren’t they? In fact, is there anyone among us who haven’t had one? I’ve personally had three, because this is definitely a thing and definitely a big trend and definitely not just a PR piece for a private hair clinic to try to pretend that the niche service they offer is secretly the Next Big Thing:

The number of beard transplants performed has risen from being just 1.5 per cent of all hair restoration procedures undertaken internationally in 2012 to 3.7 per cent in 2014, according to the nonprofit medical association, International Society of Hair Restoration.

Vincenzo Gambino, president of the ISHRS said: “While a clean-shaven appearance is still popular, beards are now very trendy among more males than ever before thanks to their resurgence in Hollywood and among professional athletes.”

“For those who prefer a fuller beard or more facial hair, beard hair transplants offer excellent results.”

Well, thank god the ISHRS is here to offer us expensive and clearly-niche surgery to live up to the latest look, while using their PR to make out like this is an entirely normal state of affairs. Otherwise this whole story could have seemed utterly ridiculous.

“Some companies are really cool to work for!” says recruitment firm

These are the top 10 friendliest workplaces in the UK

The fastest growing jobs and recruiting site, Glassdoor identified the places with the friendliest atmosphere

TK Maxx has topped a list of the UK’s friendliest workplaces.

Source: Independent, 23rd September 2015

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The 13 UK companies that offer their employees free beer

Work drinks provide a space for employees to let off steam

Most employees can’t wait to get to the pub on a Friday. But some don’t have to – because beer is supplied at the office in fridges packed with unlimited cans, or provided free on tap.

While workers get the advantage of a free tipple or two, employers boost morale on their team and help build trust among colleagues.

Source: Independent, 8th October 2015

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Clearly someone at the Independent recently has been very keen to emphasise just how many super-cool workplaces are out there. Specifically, a recruitment company:

Glassdoor, the jobs site, put TK Maxx at the top of a list of the 10 friendliest workplaces as decided by employees.

The good thing about a door made of glass is how easy it is to see that the grass is greener on the other side… and there’s a recruitment company publishing PR in national newspapers who profit from encouraging you to make that step with them.

“You’re probably going to be too poor to be buried!” says insurance company

The not-so-great leveller: dramatic differences in cost of dying just miles apart

Bereaved cutting back on flowers and opting for cheaper coffins to curb impact of funeral inflation

It is meant to be the great leveller but in Britain even death comes with a dramatically different price tag depending on where you live.

New research has exposed wide variations – as extreme as differences in house price – between the cost of funerals and burials in different postcodes.

Source: Telegraph, 5th October 2015

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Average cost of a basic funeral has leapt by £140 in one year, says new report

‘Vulnerable bereaved people are taking on increased debt; and we predict this problem will worsen’

The average cost of a basic funeral has leapt by £140 in the space of a year, a report has found.

Across the UK, the typical cost is now £3,702, a 3.9 per cent increase compared with 2014, when the average cost was £3,562, the insurer Royal London said.

Source: Independent, 5th Ocotber 2015

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This story garnered a lot of coverage recently, not just in the Telegraph and Independent, but also in the BBC, the Guardian, the Mirror and a host of local sources. Which would be fine, if all of those outlets made it absolutely clear that this story was sourced by an insurance company:

Simon Cox, a funeral cost expert at Royal London, said: “Our study shows people are striving to meet funeral price hikes, which they have little control over.

“Given the stressful situation, shopping around for a funeral is often not an option.

“Instead people are coping by cutting back on non-essentials if possible, and reconsidering how loved ones are buried.

While it’s undoubtedly true that funerals are costly affairs, it’s equally true that there’s a clear financial incentive for an insurance company to ensure people are afraid that their loved ones won’t have enough money to pay for their burial once they’re gone. I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to Royal London if they see an increase in interest in their life insurance policies as a result of stories like this. As ever with PR, it’s hard to distinguish the genuine message from the sales hook.

“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.

“Twitter is brilliant!” says Twitter

Fans say retweets from the likes of Taylor Swift and JK Rowling are ‘more personal’ than an autograph

Twitter ‘allows [fans] to get to know artists as real people’

Once fans queued up for hours to receive a scribble from their idols. But now a retweet from a celebrity is more valued than a physical record of actually meeting your heroes, a survey has found.

A copy of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album, signed by all four members, sold for £200,000 two years ago.

But for a generation who earn cultural validation through social media, the acknowledgement that they exist via a retweet is seen as more valuable than an autograph book filled with signatures.

Source: Independent, 14th September 2015

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Forget souvenirs and autographs, a tweet from your favourite celebrity is what people want most out of their idols these days – such is the almighty power of Twitter. At least, so says a survey commissioned by… well…

A spokesman for Twitter, which commissioned the survey, said: “Twitter offers an experience that’s immediate, unrestricted and conversational and artists are already using the platform in creative ways that give them access to their fans in a way that is unavailable on other platforms.

“Digital culture changing the way we interact with our icons now that fans have direct access to their favourite singers and the selfie has become a staple of the red carpet. For many the retweet really is the new autograph.”

Come on Twitter, I thought you were better than this…

“Students love beer!” says price comparison website, with one eye on the University calendar

Universities with the cheapest and most expensive pints of beer revealed in MoneySupermarket research

Accommodation: check. Car insurance: check. Home insurance: check. Cost of the average pint of beer: let’s have a look.

New research from the UK’s leading price comparison website, MoneySupermarket, has revealed the best and worst value universities in the UK for students, coming just at the time while hundreds of thousands are preparing to head to their chosen institution.

Source: Independent, 14th September 2015

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Durham crowned best value UK university thanks to cheap pints and low rent

These universities may reek of tweed and Hunter wellies, but they are better value than some of their more down-to-earth rivals and this is why

Hard-up students heading to Durham University will find their cash goes further as it has been named the best value for money uni in Britain.

Source: Mirror, 8th September 2015

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Who’d have thought that a price comparison website would compare the price of beer? Well, anyone who realises that the MoneySupermarket PR team will be trying to use the start of the university term to convince students to use their price comparison tool to buy contents insurance for their new university residences… and students love beer, right?

“People hate living too far from work!” says London property rental company

British workers reveal what they hate most about the daily commute to work

The commute to work is never something to look forward to, especially since a study earlier this year suggested Britons spend over a year of their lives travelling to and from work.

So it’s not surprising that 45 per cent of British workers reportedly put a short commute as their top priority when moving home, and 47 per cent said they would not be willing to work anywhere that was “too far”.

Source: Independent, 2nd September 2015

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Commuting is a huge pain, and it’s therefore vitally important to reduce the time spent getting between where you live and where you work. And by ‘where you work’, obviously I mean London – this is a national newspaper after all, why would they assume anyone worked outside of London? We know London is key to the story, because of the company behind the ‘research’:

A new survey of 2,000 adults was carried out by One Poll on behalf of Get Living London. It found out the top 10 hates for commuters, as well as what they get up to during the journey to pass the time.

Note not only the mention of this blog’s favourite PR polling company, OnePoll, but that the story was paid for by Get Living London – a property rental company who specialise in London properties. We know this, because the story is merely a trimmed-down version of the press release on their website.

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