Tag Archives: Kate Pickles

“Dieting is so important, everyone is doing it!” says diet supplement firm

The 10 most effective ways of losing weight and why it’s more bad news for Bake Off fans!

1000 dieters were asked for their top tips when it comes to weight loss
Turning off cookery shows like The Great British Bake Off came second
Other tips include using a smaller plate and getting rid of snack cupboards

Weighing yourself every day is the most effective way to diet, according to a new survey.

Switching off TV cookery shows like The Great British Bake Off is the second best weight loss trick.

Using smaller plates came third.

Source: Daily Mail, 6th October 2016


The Great British Bake Off is a hugely popular show, and therefore a perfect peg on which to hang your PR story, hiding your advert behind what looks like a piece of commentary on trends regarding one of the biggest cultural touchpoints of the current TV schedule. But seasoned Bad PR spotters will note the classic, tell-tale signs of PR, not least in paragraph five:

The results come from a new poll of 1,000 dieters by weight loss firm Forza Supplements to find the ten most effective ways to lose weight.

So while this may seem like a story on the Bake Off, it’s little more than a reminder by a producer of diet supplements that diets are important, because we all need to find ways to stay slim, and if you don’t want to give up your favourite TV shows in order to stay in shape, perhaps there’s a chemical solution that Forza can sell you.

Or to put it even more explicitly:

Forza Supplements managing director Lee Smith said: ‘We all think we know the secret to effective dieting, so we thought it would be useful to find the ten tips that really do work.

‘It is interesting how destructive popular TV cookery shows like The Great British Bake Off can be to regular diets.

‘It’s watched by more than 11 million people a week and it is inevitable they are going to want to try one of those highly calorific recipes at the weekend.

‘Dieting is incredibly difficult and people struggling to lose weight need help – it is why diet products like ours have never so popular.’

“Your body is older and closer to death than you think!” says private health firm

What’s your heart’s REAL age? Take this test to find out, as doctors warn most of us are old before our time…

Many of us claim to feel young at heart when the reality could, in fact, be quite the opposite.
Experts have revealed the ‘heart age’ of someone is, on average, more than three years older than their actual age and can vary by years – depending on the job they do.

A new study has found people working in manual labour have the worst heart health, while teachers and those working in the medical profession have the best.

So should you be worried about your heart and what can you do to improve its health?

Source: Daily Mail, 1st October 2015


Do you feel you’re getting old before your time? Are you worried that, as this article suggests, your heart might be on its last ventricles, ready to pop, and you’d never even know it? Do you fear your own mortality and feel the icy hand of death on your shoulder? If so, I can assure you that that’s in no way precisely what the company behind this article wanted:

The global research was carried out by Bupa and the World Heart Federation with more than 8,000 consumers completing a heart age check.

Dr. Fiona Adshead, chief wellbeing and public health officer at Bupa said: ‘If current trends continue, by 2030 more than 23 million people will die annually from cardiovascular disease.

Glad to know Bupa are looking out for us, in ways which might just-about scaremonger Daily Mail readers into taking out private insurance. The stress of this long, hard look at our own mortality is enough to force us to an early grave…

“People believe healthcare should be privatised!” says private healthcare firm

Do YOU know how much surgery on the NHS costs? You might be surprised…

DO you know how much procedures on the NHS really cost? New research suggests the British public is grossly ignorant about the real price of medical care.

The National Health Report 2015 was launched today and figure show we haven’t got a clue about how much procedures are really costing the NHS.

The report, compiled by mutual health and wellbeing provider Benenden, questioned 4,000 people across the UK asking them to put a cost to some common procedures and treatments.

Source: Express, 21st August 2015


Smokers and alcohol abusers should PAY for NHS treatment says new study

Most Britons believe treatment should not be free if damage has been self-inflicted

Almost nine in ten of us believe alcohol abusers should pay for their own treatment and not get it free on the NHS, a comprehensive new study reveals.

Last year more than 1.4 million people used NHS drug and alcohol services – including rehabilitation – at a total cost of £136 million.

Source: Mirror, 21st August 2015


Smokers and heavy drinkers should pay for treatment of ‘self-inflicted’ illnesses rather than expect NHS to foot the bill

The vast majority of people believe alcohol abusers should pay for their own treatment rather than get it free on the NHS, a survey has found.

More than half said the NHS should not fund treatment if the illness was a consequence of smoking and patients should be forced to pay for it themselves.

The report questioned 4,000 UK adults about the cost of common procedures in the UK and whether it should be publicly funded.

Source: Daily Mail, 21st August 2015


Not everyone in the country believes they should be responsible for jointly funding the healthcare of the nation – and at a time where the government increasingly looks to hand over parts of the NHS to private healthcare firms, articles like this can form a part of the justification for privatisation. Not only do stories like this serve as ‘proof’ of the current feeling of the public, but they also help to set the agenda and lead public opinion… which is why the source of this story is, as ever, absolutely key:

But the study, carried out by the Benenden National Health Report 2015, revealed how people were willing to con medical officials so they could have treatment paid for by the public purse.

Benenden are a private health firm, which makes their ‘discovery’ that people prefer to pay directly for health services they themselves need far from surprising. In that context, calling their PR survey the ‘National Health Report’ seems incredibly dicey – it’s not hard to see how some unsuspecting readers might assume this has something to do with the NHS, rather than with a private healthcare firm.

The obligatory spokesperson quote is just as interesting:

Medical Director of Benenden, Dr John Giles, said: ‘I suspect most people view diseases caused by excessive drinking and smoking as being self-inflicted and therefore potentially avoidable.

‘They probably feel that they should not have to pay the price for the consequences of the poor choices of others.

‘It comes as no surprise that the public has a staggering and destructive ignorance regarding the cost of treatments on the NHS.

‘As a nation we have lost touch with the role we should play in our own health and wellbeing, expecting the NHS to pick up the pieces.

‘If the public was more aware of the cost of appointments, treatments, operations and prescriptions, and really took responsibility for their own health, using the NHS only when absolutely necessary, the crisis the service finds itself in today would be significantly lessened.’

It’s uncontroversial to suggest that we ought to take care of ourselves and take responsibility for our own health. However, what Benenden are doing with this story and with this quote is to shift responsibility for the wellbeing of the NHS away from the politicians who continue to freeze funding, and onto the patients – and, specifically, onto certain groups of patients. This kind of thinking is the wedge that opens the door for separating oneself from these ‘problematic patient groups’, and into privatised medicine.

As far as this blogger can see, this is not a story about a report on the health of the NHS and the cost of treatments, but a cynical piece of privitisation propaganda PR. This is where the effect of Bad PR can be at its worst, influencing public perception and potential policy decisions.

“Most women want breast augmentation surgery!” says cosmetic surgeon

Big boobed Britain: Soaring numbers of women in the UK still want bigger breasts – despite reductions leading the way in nearly other country

  • Research claims 69% of internet searches in UK were for enlargements
  • In July 16.5k women searched for breast enhancements in Britain
  • Eight in 10 women in America who are looking online want reductions
  • Only other country listed favouring bigger breasts was India

They may be objects of desire to men the world over, but it is UK women who are leading the way at looking into boob-enhancing surgery.

New research has found that the vast majority of women considering breast surgery in the UK are after enlargements, rather than going down in size.

The data, collected from internet searches by women all over the world throughout July 2015, discovered women in most countries seeking breast surgery online were actually looking at reductions.

Source: Daily Mail, 20th August 2015

Can you guess which country has the most boob jobs in the world?

In some countries the majority of women are seeking to increase their bust – while in others, most want a breast reduction

It might sound like a weird joke, but the UK are the only country where women are regularly seeking breast ENLARGEMENTS.

In research which goes against the grain, the vast majority of women looking into breast surgery in the rest of the world are seeking smaller cup sizes, as opposed to bigger.

Despite this, breast reductions did grow in popularity in the UK from 2,900 in 2013 to 4,400 in 2015.

Source: Mirror, 21st August 2015

Let’s pause for a moment and ask: what is this story actually telling us? Is it telling us that most women in the UK want breast augmentation surgery? Or that 69% of all internet searches in the UK was to look into that surgery? Of course not. What we’re actually being presented here, as if it were news, is the ‘finding’ that of the people who search for breast-related cosmetic surgery, more were looking to go up a size than down. Given that there are, broadly speaking, only those two options, it’s not surprising that one of them came out on top.

Equally unsurprising is the source of the ‘research’, and the company who paid for this story to make the news:

The data, which comes from research conducted by ClinicCompare.co.uk, has discovered that the vast majority of those seeking breast surgery online were looking for reductions in countries other than the UK.

In case you were in any doubt, ClinicCompare are a cosmetic surgery company.

Here to hammer home the point is their spokesperson:

Agnese Geka from Clinic Compare comments: “For the first time the majority of women globally feel that their busts are too large rather than too small, and their motive for surgery isn’t cosmetic – it’s practical.

“The enduring popularity of breast enlargement in the UK is a stark reminder that, for now at least, vanity still trumps quality of life.”

What’s particularly interesting is the handy double-edged sword in the story – on the one hand, you can embed the notion that women around the country are clamouring for breast augmentation surgery, normalising the procedure in the eyes of your target market and inevitably making them question their own physique; on the other hand you can highlight the practicality of breast reduction, and it’s boost to ‘quality of life’. That way, you engage both sides of the fence, and look like a socially-responsible and magnanimous company to boot.

Until someone comes along and highlights the fact that this whole story – data, lead and spin – is nothing but an advert for your cosmetic surgery business, that is.