Tag Archives: men vs women

“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:

TIME TO GET UP! DREAM ON, WE PREFER AN EXTRA 40 WINKS

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.

“People are grumpy in the morning!” says fruit juice sellers

February 19th, 2012

Tuesday’s Huffington Post reported:

If you find yourself waking up on the wrong side of the bed more often than not and the alarm clock snooze button is your friend, you’re not alone – a third of Brits wake up grumpy.

Frankly, in the middle of a bleak, dark and cold February, I’m shocked it’s only a third of us who wake feeling pretty down. But, as ever with these stories, the stats trotted out are second fiddle to the company name the story is designed to promote, so it’s little surprise to see in the next paragraph:

A survey by YouGov and PomeGreat discovered more than a third of adults in the UK dread getting out of bed and blame their early morning mood swings on work stress.

Well, at least they’re not burying it way down the page. Not mentioned is the PR firm who devised the story, but Pomegreat’s Contacts page suggests this is the work of Twelve Thirty Eight.

Still, let’s have a quick look at the stats, for funsies:

Of the 2,032 people questioned, one in four wished they didn’t have to go to work, with women dreading the day ahead the most.

Of course, why simply promote a product when you can write in a ‘men vs women’ angle to whip up the commenters below the fold. So, women are worst hit when it comes to dreading their day? Sort of…

Despite previous studies telling us that early morning risers are ‘slimmer, happier and healthier’, over 29% of women feel miserable at the start of the working week, compared to 26% of men.

So, in actuality, there’s just 3% in it. I’d be interested to see how this passes a statistical significance test – but I imagine such a test hasn’t been anywhere near this story. Instead, I’d wager that a load of people were asked some pretty generic questions, and the sample set was then datamined to get the results we’re reading here… simply to get this fruit juice a few column inches. Speaking of datamining, the article continues:

And it’s (unsurprisingly) Monday mornings that cause the most misery, and it’s the Welsh that feel the most blue, as 34% of them struggle to scramble from under the duvet, compared to 30% of Londoners, 28% Northerners and 27% of people living in Southern England.

And now we’ve had the data, let’s hear from the spokesperson/expert trotted out in the press release:

Work has become so stressful, more and more of us are producing the cortisol hormone in reaction to stress. This causes us to become irritable, anxious, aggressive and as a result, more unhappy in general,” Dr. Dorian Dugmore, a cardiovascular expert from the study, said in a statement.

A cardiovascular expert, you say? Well, I’m sure he’s the best person to speak to about sleep, waking, diets and nutrition – after all, he specialises in none of those fields, and is a heart specialist… 

What’s more, there’s nothing to back-up his claim that work is more stressful than it used to be, or that ‘more and more of us’ are feeling the effects of stress. But he’s a heart expert, so he must just know that kind of stuff.

“There are plenty of things that we can do to lift our spirits in the morning. A good shower and a balanced breakfast, including a glass of juice, have been clinically proven to improve our mood.”

And bingo – we have a juice connection. Have a glass of juice in the morning, and you’re clinically proven to feel in a better mood, apparently. And what kind of juice might you want to drink? Well it just so happens that Dr Dorian Dougmore is the spokesperson for Pomegreat juice:

It’s enough to make you grumpy, no matter what time of day it is.

“Men suck at home furnishings, unlike our target audience: women!” says TK Maxx

February 12th, 2012

TK Maxx, Daily Mail, Feb 11th 2012

Article in Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2099712/Sorry-darling-new-wallpaper-How-men-hopeless-spotting-changes-homes.html

Article in the Express: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/301395/New-wallpaper-Where-s-that-love-

Original press release from TK Maxx: http://www.tkmaxx.presscentre.com/PRESS-RELEASES/Home-Improvements-1bd.aspx