Tag Archives: jane matthews

“Women worry about their appearance!” says slimwear manufacturer

“Women worry about their appearance!” says slimwear manufacturer

Life as a woman in the modern world is tricky, what with the constant need to be looking glamorous, attractive and thin. That constant need, of course, having been generated in part by articles such as these, placed helpfully into the Express and the Daily Mail by a manufacturer of slimwear:

Michele Duncan, spokeswoman for the study commissioned by Lycra Beauty owners Invista, said: “It’s surprising to think women are spending such a large amount of their time concerned about their appearance.

“Simple things such as choosing the right shape-wear can go a long way to alleviating those body shape concerns, leaving you to be able to get on with your day, worry-free.”

If you’re not worrying about your appearance, ladies, perhaps there’s something wrong with you, as you’re clearly not normal. And if you are worrying about your appearance, choosing the right undergarments can help you stop worrying, according to this entirely-unbiased company.

“People fight over who has to cook meals!” says takeaway company

Relationships can be tricky things, fraught with danger and pitfalls – if the world of PR has anything to say in the matter, that is. Take, for instance, an article from the Daily Express:

KITCHEN SINK DRAMAS…THE SOURCE OF MANY A BUST-UP

Only money causes more arguments with two out of three couples squabbling over domestic chores at least once a week.

Research reveals that one in five of us knows a couple who row regularly or have even broken up over housework.

Laziness about cooking and cleaning comes second only to bad personal hygiene in the list of reasons to dump someone, the study by online takeaway firm Just Eat found. Record numbers of couples file for divorce in January, hinting at dramas such as illicit affairs, financial worries and Christmas “cabin fever”.

But in the survey of more than 2,000 adults money was named as the cause of most rows by nearly a quarter (24 per cent) with 17 per cent saying household chores were to blame.

Source: Daily Express, 21 January 2013

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The article was also picked up by the Daily Mail on the same day:

House-cleaning causes the most marital dust-ups as majority of couples admit they row over chores at least once a week

Couple fight more over who cleans the house, does the cooking and washes up than anything else except money, a survey found.

Nearly two-thirds admit they argue over chores at least once a week. And one in five people know a couple who row regularly or have broken up over the issue.

Laziness about cooking, cleaning and other chores comes second only to bad personal hygiene in the list of reasons to break up with someone, the survey of more than 2,000 adults by online.

Source: Daily Mail, 21 January 2013

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It seems, then, that to be in a relationship is to experience an endless stream of arguments over petty little things, like who does the cooking. Which begs the question: what can be done to alleviate these domestic woes and bring harmony back to our lives? Well…

David Buttress, managing director UK for Just Eat, said: “When tempers wear thin, think about letting a professional takeaway chef do the hard work instead.”

That would be Just Eat, the takeaway company, telling you that you’ll argue with your loved one over who does the cooking, unless you find a way to avoid either of you having to cook.

“The Daily Mail aren’t the only culprits… but they’re the worst!” says Bad PR blogger

July 19th, 2012

I don’t know about you, but I’m bored of reading the Daily Mail – I don’t enjoy it, and I’d far prefer not to have to. Unfortunately, time and again, it’s the Mail who have fallen worst for printing PR nonsense as if it were news, so time and again I’m forced to cover them. The Mail didn’t get to be the most-read news site on the internet by having high standards.

Still, merrily enough, today I get to cover not just the Mail, but a whole range of the newspapers, as we learn the hand gestures which annoy people the most, starting with The Express:

THE TOP FIVE GESTURES THAT DRIVE US MAD

THE finger-flicking hand gesture meaning “in inverted commas” has been voted the most irritating of all.

The action, created by curling the index and middle fingers, beat the “talk to the hand” move as the most aggravating part of communication.

Other non-obscene gestures which make the blood boil are putting a finger to the nose to depict “none of your business” and “blah blah blah” where people touch their thumb and forefinger to imitate a chatty mouth.

The Sun’s take focused more on famous gesture-makers, providing a welcome excuse to refer to David Brent (something The Sun appear to adore doing):

David Brent’s ‘inverted commas’ gesture is most annoying

THE finger-flicking “inverted commas” motion has been hailed as the most irritating hand gesture, it has emerged.

The action to emphasise a word with a hint of irony – beloved of nerdy boss David Brent from The Office – beat the “talk to the hand” gesture as the most aggravating part of daily communication.

The Telegraph, however, take a more high-brow approach, with John McCain demonstrating the hated quote marks gesture, topping off a near-identical story to the others:

Why making finger quote marks may cost your credibility

People who like to be sarcastic by making inverted commas with their fingers may want to think twice, as it has been named the most irritating hand gesture used in daily communication.

The “speech marks” created by curling the index and middle fingers of both hands, was named ahead of motioning people to “talk to the hand” by extending one arm towards them while looking away, or touching a finger to the nose to suggest “mind your own business”.

And finally, predictably, The Daily Mail take on the story in some length.

Of course, needless to say, all four versions of the stories (and the other incarnations in print and online) are all based on the same press release – equally predictably sourced from our friends over at 72 Point / OnePoll. In fact, all four versions are so clearly taken from the same press release we can even rank their use of copy and paste:

  • The Daily Telegraphunnamed journalist – 56% copied from press release
  • The Sun – unnamed journalist – 72% copied from press release
  • The Daily ExpressJane Matthews – 81% copied from press release
  • The Daily MailRick Dewsbury – 85% copied from press release

Rather interestingly, then, the newspapers most guilty of presenting this press release unchecked as news are the ones who name their journalists. That Jane Matthews of the Express (who we know has form for this) contributed less than a fifth to her article, and Rick Dewsbury less even than that, is somewhat remarkably.

As for the source of the press release, and the service this anthropological study was set up to advertise? Quirky and frivolous iPhone app ‘Goggle Eyes’. Bizarre.

“We don’t clean often or thoroughly enough!” says cleaning product manufacturers

July 10th, 2012

I like it when a story is plain and simple, with no twists and turns. Take, for example, this one from the Express:

WHAT A DIRTY LOT…SO MANY SKIP HYGIENE

MILLIONS don’t bother with basic personal hygiene because they are too busy or too lazy, a survey revealed yesterday.

Researchers found barely half of British adults always wash their hands with soap after visiting the toilet. And a quarter of workers claim to be too rushed to wash and dry their hands properly after nipping to the loo.

A morning shower is regularly skipped by 58 per cent of men, with a quarter admitting they would rather have the extra time in bed. One in three said they simply couldn’t be bothered.

And its partner from the Daily Mail:

We really ARE the great unwashed! Brits ‘too busy’ to wash their hands after using the loo – while over half of men skip their daily shower

Millions of Britons neglect a string of basic personal hygiene tasks – because they are too busy or too lazy, a survey found today.

Researchers found barely half of adults always wash their hands with soap after visiting the toilet.

And shockingly 27 per cent of workers claim to be too rushed at work to wash and dry their hands properly after visiting the toilet.

Additionally, 58 per cent of men regularly skip the morning shower – with one quarter admitting they would rather have the extra time in bed.

Incredibly, one quarter of lazy Brits change their bed sheets just once a month.

Here we have a simple, easy-to-follow story telling the tale that we Brits are dirty, filthy creatures who don’t know the value of soap and have no clue how to keep ourselves clean. There are no prizes for guessing where this one is heading.

Before we get there, a quick note on some of the stats:

  • 58 per cent of men regularly skip the morning shower – this stat is meanignless without a definition of what constitutes ‘regularly’, an analysis of how many respondents had access to a shower (rather than just a bath), and how many respondents opted for a late-night shower instead
  • with one quarter admitting they would rather have the extra time in bed… one in three said they simply couldn’t be bothered – presented as if to seem like a quarter or third of the 2000 people polled, this is actually one quarter of the 58% above, therefore this stat not only suffers from the issues its parent stat does, but also from the issue of now including a much smaller number of respondents
  • One in twenty of the 2,000 adults polled … said the last time they cleaned their toilet was a month ago and 10 per cent said it was two weeks ago – does this reflect the last time their toilet was cleaned, or the last time the respondent cleaned it? It’s beyond plausible that other members of the household could have cleaned the toilet, yet with the incorrect wording of the question we’d see only the last time the particular respondent personally undertook the cleaning.
  • one quarter of lazy Brits change their bed sheets just once a month – oddly this contradicts other equally-scientific ‘findings’ in the past, stating that Brits change their bedsheets either once every three weeks (Daily Mail, April 2012, for shopping channel QVC), or just four times a year (Daily Mail, February 2010, for insurers Sheila’s Wheels). It’s almost as if this isn’t science at all, but meaningless paper-filling PR drivel.

Speaking of which, this was a study conducted on behalf of cleaning product manufacturers Dettol by 72Point’s polling arm (and our old friends) OnePoll – we know that because here it is on their site:

Quite remarkably, the Daily Mail version of the story (which was ‘written’ by Deborah Arthurs) takes 90% of its text directly from the OnePoll press release, meaning that the journalist involved contributed only 10% to the article.

Similarly, the article in the Express, attributed to Jane Matthews, was actually 80% copied and pasted from the press release, making the Jane of the Express twice as good as Deborah of the Daily Mail, but still operating at only a fifth of the quality standard expected of a professional journalist. Value for money, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Now, is anybody else left feeling a bit dirty?