Tag Archives: jacky brown

“The wrong footwear can cause car accidents!” says car insurer selling specialist footwear

Car accidents – they can be hilarious, can’t they? Especially when caused by something relatively and surprisingly mundane:

Flip flops caused my car crash – a quarter of drivers blame footwear for motoring mishap in survey

One in three road users get behind the wheel in flip flops and a study shows they are more dangerous than driving in high heels

One in three drivers get behind the wheel in flip flops – a shoe which appears to cause 1.4 million road accidents or near misses every year.

In a poll, 27% of drivers admitted driving in flip flops had caused a mishap, and 11% said the shoe had got stuck under pedals.

Source: Mirror, 18th August 2013

Flip flops are more dangerous to drive in than heels and one in 10 of us has had a near miss while wearing them

They may be ideal footwear for summer, but the next time you think about driving in flip-flops it might be wise to kick the idea into touch.

For flip-flops are apparently responsible for up to 1.4million near misses or accidents on the roads every year, with one in nine motorists getting one stuck under a pedal, a study reveals.

Research shows that for women they are even more dangerous to drive in than high heels, as they make it more difficult to brake effectively.

Source: Daily Mail, 19 August 2013

Are flip flops really responsible for 1.4 million accidents annually? Or is this little more than a quirky headline for an insurance company looking to advertise their attention-grabbing specialist footwear? I’ll let Jacky Brown from Sheila’s Wheels Car Insurance answer that:

Jacky Brown, of Sheilas’ Wheels, said: ‘It’s worrying that so many drivers out there do not realise the impact their footwear choices can have on their safety at the wheel.

‘Millions may think they can drive safely but may not realise the shortcomings of the flip-flop until it’s too late – putting themselves, their passengers and other drivers at risk every time they get in the car. 

‘Our Sheilas’ shoe design could provide drivers with the ultimate fashion accessory for the car and handbag this summer – allowing women to be both stylish and safe whilst driving.’

“Half term weeks can mean expensive new presents!” says home insurer

Parents: did you notice how expensive the Half Term week was? You should have, because there were plenty of clues, including in the Daily Telegraph:

Half-term break to cost parents £1.7bn

Londoners will shell out the most, averaging nearly £500 for the week.

Cash-strapped parents will shell out an average of £230 to keep their children entertained for half-term break, totalling £1.7bn nationwide.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2013

If parents are really spending £1.7bn every half term, perhaps the only way to save our failing economy is to abolish schools altogether for the majority of the country. Don’t kid yourself that this isn’t something Gove’s already considered. Continuing the Telegraph story:

One in five mums and dads have put themselves in debt struggling to afford the cost of school holidays, according to research from Sheila’s Wheels home insurance. With more than half of parents admitting that they are concerned about the cost of entertaining the kids as household budgets continue to buckle under the strain of the rising cost of living.

What’s more, over a third of parents admit that February half-term is the worst holiday for entertaining children, with a more than four in ten mums and dads revealing the winter weather forces them to splurge on gifts and expensive excursions to keep their kids busy.

That would be Sheila’s Wheels Home Insurance who published the press release this very story was based on, of which 72% made the Telegraph untouched (nice work on the remaining 28%, Kara Gammell).

Why would Sheila’s Wheels commission research to suggest the half term holiday is a near-ruinously expensive affair? We’ll let their spokesperson answer that one, in a quote from the press release which didn’t make it into the Telegraph’s story:

Jacky Brown, at Sheilas’ Wheels home insurance, said: “In these tough economic times it is no wonder that the costs associated with keeping kids entertained over the holidays are putting added pressure on family finances.

“Understandably, every parent wants the very best for their children but as that often comes with a hefty price tag, it can really help the peace of mind for a family to make sure they have adequate home insurance to cover all of your child’s expensive possessions as new. Also, it’s important to make sure you have adequate personal possessions cover away from the home.”

The answer is clear, then: this story warning of the financial perils of having to bear the brunt of entertaining your offspring is nothing more than a reminder to buy insurance.

“People have lots of expensive clothes!” says home insurer

Are you a dedicated follower of fashion? By which I mean, have you joined the legions of people around the country to buy into the onesie fad? The Daily Mail assumes so:

The march of the romper suit: Sales of ‘onesies’ soar as one in eight people now owns adult babygrows

Footballer Mario Balotelli has one, One Direction star Harry Styles has one, even Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has one.

Now it has been revealed one in eight people own a ‘onesie’ adult romper suit, according to new research.

Brits spent £10.7billion updating their winter wardrobe over the past year – with 17 per cent splurging more than £50 on an adult romper suit – or onesie, reveals a study of winter fashion trends.

Source: Daily Mail, 29 January 2013

In such financially-straightened times, it’s amazing to think that £10.7billion spent on winter clothing – although that equates to around £200 for every one of the 50 million adults in the country (or around £170 per person if, like the original press release, you include children in the maths).

With so much capital being invested in clothes – even faddy annoying clothes like the adult babygrow – you wonder what would happen to all of that investment in the event of an accident. Or, at least, you wonder that if you’re Jackie Brown, spokesperson for the company behind this story:

‘With the combination of the cold winter weather encouraging us to wrap-up warm and attractive sales encouraging us to splash the cash, it is no surprise that Brits have stocked up on winter clothing.

‘Whilst updating your winter wardrobe can be fun, it is also important to consider the full replacement cost as new of clothing and accessories that you have stored away in the house and make sure you have adequate home insurance to cover these because at Sheilas’ Wheels we don’t reduce for wear and tear.’

This story – purported to track the rise of the onesie – transpires to be little more than a reminder from an insurance company to insure your possessions. The original press release is proudly displayed on the Sheila’s Wheels website:

Just to complete the picture, a quick check shows that Leon Watson of the Daily Mail wrote just 25% of his article, taking the rest directly from Sheila’s Wheels’ press release. Presumably from the comfort of his onesie.

“People are grumpy and dumb in the morning” says home insurance firm

Not all nonsense PR stories have to be related to a survey finding that seems shocking or counter-intuitive in order for it to hit the news – the UK press is so accustomed to being spoon-fed the warm-drivel template of ‘shock survey shows us x!’ that they’ll often print entirely-obvious statements as if they were hand-crafted wisdom from the god of science herself.

Take this, for example, from last week’s Daily Express:


EVERYONE who has ever reached drowsily across to hit the snooze button on their bedside alarm knows the delicious feeling of grabbing those precious few extra minutes under the covers.

And they’re not alone. All across the country, the average Briton is putting off the start of the day by almost half an hour.

On average, they’ll hit the snooze function four times before finally hauling themselves out to face the world. The lure of the warm bed is, not surprisingly, strongest of all on chilly winter mornings. 

So, people in the morning like to stay in bed? Even more so on a cold morning? Well I’ll be damned!

One thing we can thank the Express for is that they gutted out the male/female competitiveness angle which originally accompanied this press release, which we saw take centre stage in the Daily Mail of the previous day:

Snooze wars: One in four couples argue about what time to get up

If you find it almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning, you are not alone.

Brits spend almost half an hour each morning with their alarms on snooze, a survey has shown.

And more than one in four couples reports arguing over the snooze button and when it really is time to crawl out of bed.

Note the author of this piece in the Mail – it’s our friend Maysa Rawi, who you may remember from the ‘Women are fatter than even they realise!‘ story covered elsewhere on this site.

Maysa Rawi

Maysa’s own Twitter page tells us she’s the ‘MailOnline fashion editor and blogger’, so that she’s straying from the ‘look what she’s wearing!’ stories to this ‘look what this press release says!’ piece might seem surprising – however, this is the state of the Fourth Estate. With journalists today being required to write three times as much copy per day as their counterparts 20 years ago, it’s far from uncommon to see journalists double-hatting in a specialist role and a general ‘news’ role.

So, who originated this rather un-shocking statistic?

A poll for insurers Sheila’s Wheels found the average Briton dozes on for 25 minutes each morning in winter, compared to just 17 minutes in summer. 

We can be sure this story came from Sheila’s Wheels, as it appears on the press section of their site, where we can also see that they hired PR firm Mischief PR, who commissioned this survey via polling company FlyResearch. Of course, the origins of the story aren’t widely broadcast in the original article, as that somewhat undermines the ‘researchiness’ of the case being made.

And just in case you were wondering why Sheila’s Wheels – the insurers of car and home – would be talking about couples rowing over how many times they’ve hit the snooze button in the morning, we have a lovely quote to tie it all back together:

‘It’s important that people train themselves to ‘get up and go’ as then you are less likely to make a careless mistake, like forgetting to switch off an electrical appliance or leaving yourself vulnerable to burglars by not locking the front door properly as you rush out.’

So: don’t snooze so much you forget to lock your doors, or your insurance will be invalidated. Struth.