Tag Archives: lucy waterlow

“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 cheat on people who have iphones!” says dating website aimed at cheaters

It sounds ludicrous that someone would stray in a relationship due to their partner’s love of their iPhone, and that’s for a very good reason – the story is almost certainly nonsense, due in part to its provenance:

Dating website Victoria Milan surveyed 6000 of their members and found 45 per cent would cheat, or have cheated, on their partner because they felt they paid more attention to their phone or tablet than they did to them.

But why would the dating site be pushing this anti-smartphone rhetoric in their press release? The next line makes it all clear:

Ironically, those seeking an affair because their partner snubbed them for the smartphone would use their own mobile to meet someone new.

Sixty-six per cent of respondents insist that they wouldn’t be unfaithful at all without the help of new technologies – the internet in particular.

While the article overtly blames the iPhone addict for their partners desire to find someone new, the covert intent of the seded story is to highlight the use of technology in helping someone cheat on their partner – which, essentially, is the very business model of dating website Victoria Milan.

“Getting a proposal right is important!” says engagement ideas website

“Getting a proposal right is important!” says engagement ideas website

“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.

“Divorced people should get plastic surgery!” says plastic surgeon

Are you a silver separator? If you’re over 60 and recently divorced, you just might be – at least according to the Daily Star:


A BOOM in divorces by over-60s has led to a massive rise in older women and men booking cosmetic beauty treatments and buying anti-ageing products.

Newly-single female OAPs want to emulate still-got-it older stars like Dame Helen Mirren, 67, and Susan Sarandon, 66, as they get back out dating.

And men want to copy “silver foxes” such as Pretty Woman star Richard Gere, 63, and Taken star Liam Neeson, 60.

Source: Daily Star, 25 January 2013


And the Daily Mail:

Rise in cosmetic surgery for over-60s as ‘silver separators’ aim to look younger to find new love 

A generation of ‘silver separators’ are booking cosmetic surgery and buying more anti-aging products as they return to the the dating game in their retirement years.

The number of couples divorcing in their 60s and 70s has risen dramatically in the last decade and now these newly single men and women are looking to enhance their image in their quest to find fresh romance.

The female ‘silver separators’ want to look like still-got-it older stars such as Dame Helen Mirren, 67, and Susan Sarandon, 66, while the men are emulating ‘silver foxes’ like actors Richard Gere, 63, and Liam Neeson, 60.

Source: Daily Mail, 25 January 2013


There’s hope for the older generation in the dating game yet, it seems, with the over-60s back on the market – and it’s a good job there are companies out there willing to help out. Companies like, for example, cosmetic surgeons Lovelite:

LoveLite clinical director Donnamarie McBride said: ‘A year or so ago we had very few clients over the age of 60, and handful in a year at most.

‘But recently there has been a massive increase in demand and we’ve seen as many in the past month as we would have done in nearly half a year previously. The over 60s age group is without a doubt the fastest growing area in the non-invasive cosmetic treatment market at the moment.

‘Almost all of the women that come to us have just become separated or divorced, and they are wanting to improve their appearance and get back to their more youthful figure.’

Lovelite, you’ll be unsurprised, were one of the companies behind this story, with their press release surfacing on the MyNewsDesk.co.uk distribution site.

Another company on hand to help these mystical ‘silver separators’ is beauty retailer Escentual:

…CEO Rakesh Aggarwal said in just the last year the over-60s beauty market had gone from a tiny part of the business to a multi-million pound sector.

He said: ‘Many more anti-aging skin-care products are specifically created for the more mature market now.

‘A lot of our customers are looking for anti-aging products that slow the appearance of facial wrinkles and lines and many are looking for products that turn back the clock on other specific parts of the body but without the need for any surgical procedures.’

Handily enough, Escentual were the other company to have posted a press release to MyNewsDesk.co.uk describing their services for the ‘silver separators’. Which all makes sense, given that the two companies share a single PR Account Executive in the shape of an intern at AOBPR.

Do the ‘Silver Separators’ exist? Who knows. All we can be really certain of is that a PR company thought it made for a nice way of convincing an older generation that cosmetic surgery and beauty treatments could reinvigorate their lives.

“Men spend a lot of time grooming!” says company selling grooming tips, and socks

Straight out of the ‘lazily subvert a lazy stereotype’ drawer, we have the revelation in the Daily Mail that nowadays it’s those male types who are most obsessed with their looks:

HE’s the fairest of them all! Men now spend longer on grooming and getting ready than women

British men are no longer able to berate their female partners over how long they take to get ready for a night out – as they’re more likely to be hogging the bathroom themselves.

Recent figures reveal that men are spend longer on their daily grooming routine than females by styling their hair with driers and straighteners and deliberating over their outfit choice.

According to a survey by socked.co.uk, the average man can spend up to 75 minutes every day washing, shaving and styling themselves. This compares with the 70 minutes that women spend on their beauty regime.

Source: Daily Mail, 25 January 2013


Let’s deal first of all with the hideously-couched language: ‘the average man can spend up to 75 minutes each day’. Which really only says ‘men are unlikely to spend more than 75 minutes per day, but may spend any amount of time less than that’. Which really only says absolutely nothing at all.

What’s more, given the nature of these studies, the questions we’re asking, who we’ve chosen to ask and the exact way we’ve chosen to ask them is key – particularly when the outcomes are self-reported, with men being asked to guess how long their average daily grooming regime takes. It’s fair to say there’s good cause to take any results – and subsequent sensationalist headlines – with enough salt as to give your cardiologist nightmares.

While we’re on the subject of taking results with a pillar of salt, it’s worth noting the source of the data:

The website that provides a sock subscription for ‘discerning gentleman’ quizzed 1250 men aged 18-50 on their grooming habits.

I sincerely hope I can’t be alone in refusing to allow the Daily Mail to throw out terms like ‘a sock subscription’ as if this is an actual thing which happens in the actual world we live in. Of the vast, multitudinous glut of sock subscription services out there, which one are we dealing with?

Mark Hall from socked.co.uk welcomed the news as good for mankind.

He said: ‘This is superb news for the British gentleman. At last they’re paying more attention to their personal image, and mankind will be all the better for it.

‘Once men start to take care of themselves, they also start caring for the people and things around them. They turn from mere ‘men’ into ‘gentlemen’.’

Leaving aside the outdated and irritatingly reductive notion that men need to be ‘gentlemen’ (with the many associated implied judgements on behaviour that comes with this), it’s fair to say there’s a major commercial imperative behind the story. It isn’t hard to see how a company founded on offering grooming tips to men and encouraging attention to aesthetic detail – right down to the socks – would be interested in convincing men of the value of grooming.

“People damage their phones when rowing about affairs!” says mobile phone insurer

Modern technology is so often a double-edged sword. Sure, you can exploit the fruits of the digital age to, say, easily track the intrusions of commercial PR into the national media on a daily or twice-daily basis since the beginning of 2013 – for example.

Yet, on the flip side, the gadgetry of our age can catch out the errant adulterer, as the Daily Mail informed us recently:

Dial I for infidelity: Checking partner’s mobile phone is most common way affairs are exposed

In the past, lipstick on the collar, the scent of another woman’s perfume or receipts from mysterious dinners for two were the clues suspicious wives looked for to discover if their man was cheating.

But in the age of modern technology, now snooping on a partner’s mobile phone is the most common way to catch them out.

‘Going through mobile phone’ has been cited as the top reason why illicit affairs have been exposed, according to a new poll.

Source: Daily Mail, 25 January 2013


Clearly, this is a problem – just look at the poor woman crying and smearing her make-up in the (stock) photograph which accompanied the story. Still it’s encouraging that, finally, some community-spirited and moral souls have brought the issue to our attention:

Nearly 2,400 UK adults, all of whom had either been caught cheating while in a relationship or who had found a partner was being unfaithful to them in the past, were quizzed by a mobile phone insurance website on the circumstances in which the infidelity was discovered.

Of course, that these home truths are being given to us by a mobile phone insurer has no bearing upon the validity of the information being presented. As the Daily Mail clarifies for us: 

Mobile phone insurance website www.mobileinsurance.co.uk conduced the research after noting a rise in the number of claims for breakages that occurred to handsets during relationship splits or arguments.

Almost a tenth of the respondents taking part said that a mobile phone had become broken as a direct result of an argument within a relationship, such as by being thrown or dropped.

See? This story is based entirely on public good, and has absolutely no commercial link to the business of mobile insurance, as a handy spokesman is happy to explain:

John Lamerton, managing director of MobileInsurance.co.uk, said: ‘You’d be surprised how often relationship arguments and cheating gets cited in mobile phone insurance claims, even though we often don’t ask for that depth of detail. 

‘Evidently, those being unfaithful in relationships need to keep better tabs on who is looking at their mobile phone, as it’s by far the most common way in which cheaters are caught. Either that, or they should nip their cheating ways in the bud!

Either clean up your act or be more careful with your phone – that’s the message MobileInsurance.co.uk want you to take away from this story. That, and the importance of insuring your phone, just in case…

“Men use the internet!” says internet company

Men, it turns out, are heavy internet users, and sometimes use the internet to look at women, according to the Daily Mail recently:

Want to know what he’s really doing online? Keeping Up With The Kardashians! Men are hooked on celebrity gossip too (but they also surf for sport news… and porn)

While many women may be aware that their other half frequently checks the sports results online and occasionally takes a peek at porn, they might be shocked to learn that their boyfriends or husbands may well know as much about the comings and goings of the Kardashians as they do.

A new study has revealed that men are spending more time per week surfing the internet than (sic) – and the study of 2,000 adults found that while women use the internet mostly for Facebook and shopping, men surf for porn, sport and news – including plenty of celebrity gossip.

Source: Daily Mail, 4th January 2013

It transpires, then, that men are spending more time on the internet than women – of course, if the results had been reversed and it were women who logged more hours online, that too would have been headline worthy. So, for the company using this as the angle to get their name into the press, it’s a no-lose situation.

From there, throw in a little data-mining from an unreliably self-reported online survey (bear in mind this isn’t measuring what people do, but what people admit to, or even which options people tick when asked to fill-in a quick-turnaround PR survey), add a Daily Mail-friendly celebrity name to guarantee a nice eye-catching photo, and it’s easy to see how this can become a perfect piece of Daily Mail fodder for the company behind it. And who is that company?

The research, which was commissioned by Siteopia.com, found that men are four times more likely to access porn or ‘not safe for work’ material. 

That would be Siteopia.com, the domain registry site:

And just to force the point home, there is of course the inevitable self-serving quote from a company spokesperson:

A Siteopia.com spokesman said: ‘The results showed men to be the biggest internet users, spending more time reading the news and showing a much bigger tendency for gaming online.

‘Like everything, it’s important to recognise what enhances and benefits our day to day lives, while making sure we focus on quality sites and services that add convenience and enrich our routines rather than simply fill time.’

So, essentially, ‘the survey we funded says the internet is vital to people, so people should use a quality intenet based-service such as us’. 

“Women need warning before a surprise holiday!” says airline company

Men thinking of booking a surprise trip for their other half should think again, if ‘research’ published in the Daily Telegraph is to be believed:

Planning a surprise trip? Give her eight days’ notice

Women may claim that they desire spontaneity from their man, but a study suggests they actually want eight days’ notice of any “surprise” trip.

Three out of five women in the survey confessed to hating surprises and a third said they would hate it if their partner suddenly sprang a short break on them.

But that may be just as well, because the average woman is treated to just two romantic trips from their partner during the course of a relationship, the research found.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2012

What’s more, the Daily Mail agreed:

DON’T surprise her! Women confess they hate spontaneity from their partner – especially if they spring a weekend away

This will come as a surprise to many men who expect to earn Brownie points by whisking their other half off for a surprise romantic getaway. 

In a recent survey, 60 per cent of women confessed they hate surprises, with a third admitting they would be annoyed if their partner sprang a holiday on them – because they would have no time to prepare for it.

The research found the typical woman wants seven days and 11 hours notice before even the shortest break so she can plan her outfits (with at least three shopping trips) and arrange cover at work.

Source: Daily Mail, 22 October 2012

Yet, the ‘research’ is in fact a press release put out by British Airways, to remind men that sometimes women actually like to be taken on holiday, and that British Airways fly people to their holidays:

“Office work will make you too fat for your clothes!” says large-size clothing retailer

July 16th, 2012

A somewhat straightforward one, once we get there, from the Daily Mail on July 2nd, 2012:

How a desk job can make you fat: Bored office workers gain a stone a year by gorging on unhealthy snacks

Being desk-bound and bored at work is fuelling Britain’s obesity epidemic as employees are reaching for unhealthy snacks to pass the day.

Competition to bring the best cakes into the office on special occasions like birthdays is also contributing to bulging waistlines, according to a recent survey. 

Researchers found 42 per cent of office workers have gained up to a stone in a year as they graze on snacks such as cake and biscuits during their working hours.

Who may these obesity researchers have been researching on behalf of?

However, despite having greater willpower, the survey by men’s fashion retailer High and Mighty found more of the women polled put on weight over the course of a year.

That would be the oversize-clothing-retailer High and Mighty. And, in case even that implication was too subtle, spokesperson Gill Politis spells it out for us:

You’re going to lose and gain weight throughout your life, it’s unavoidable. But our research seems to show that you’re more likely to gain weight during your office life.’

‘The worst thing you can do if you put on or lose a couple of pounds is to stick to the same clothes. They’re unflattering and will exaggerate your size,’ she said.

There we have it – essentially you are all going to get fat because of the office, and when you do, you know where to buy some new trousers.