Tag Archives: mirror

“Don’t listen to online nutritionists, berries are great!” says registered nutritionist, correctly… but working for berry company, via OnePoll

Good information from a commercially-compromised source now, with the news that many folk-wisdom and social-media-promoted notions of the nutritional value of fruit and veg may not be true:

Does eating carrots really help you see in the dark? Myths about food debunked

Carrots help you to see in the dark, oranges are the best source of vitamin C and avoiding fruit in the evening are food ‘facts’ we get completely wrong, according to experts.

A study of 2,000 adults has revealed many are mistakenly believing commonly-held beliefs when it comes to the food and drinks they consume.

But now, nutritionists have shed some light on the truth.

Source: Mirror, 21st June 2019

This is one of the more complicated variety of PR stories: on the one hand, we have a registered nutrition busting some common misconceptions about fruit, and sharing some evidence-based advice. But on the other hand, that advice comes courtesy of a press release from a company with skin in the game:

While more than a fifth of adults think juicing your fruit is as nutritious as eating it whole, registered public health nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire, who is working with Love Fresh Berries, said vital fibres and nutrients are removed in the juicing process.

She said: “We are in the information era yet it seems that ‘over’ information could be confusing the lay public.

“We must remember to utilise information that is evidence-based rather than trusting ‘popular’ followers.

While it is great to see some sensible information being shared about fresh fruit and veg, it’s a shame for that information to be used primarily as a delivery mechanism for the marketing message of a company with a commercial interest:

Nicholas Marston added: “There’s so much information online, it’s often hard to tell what’s true and what isn’t.

“With the growth of social media we have seen a huge rise in unqualified influencers giving nutritional advice to followers, even telling them not to eat fruit or berries because of high sugar content, or because they’ll rot your teeth when in fact, berries are nutritional powerhouses which have many health benefits.”

This might be one of the often-overlooked drawbacks of the PR game: nobody would deny that there’s general news (or at the very least comment) value in having someone debunk common misconceptions and share genuine information… but the news media is currently so set up and incentivised to churn pre-packaged press releases into ‘news’ articles, even good information often comes with a commercial angle and a company looking for return on investment.

What, do we think, is the main factor that motivated Love Fresh Berries to hire 72 Point to generate survey data via OnePoll (which may therefore be of dubious and commercially-compromised accuracy) in order to place this story (by-lined to a 72 Point employee) into a national newspaper? Was it an altruistic desire to correct dietary inaccuracies, or a commercial desire to encourage more people to buy the berries they sell?

That we can’t say one way or another – or, more likely, what the blend was of both motivations – may not matter in this case, when the outcome is something desirable: less dietary misinformation. But this story does not exist in a vacuum, it is part of an ecosystem of bullshit-data-and-a-hook-as-news, and while this is certainly the respectable end of that spectrum, it helps legitimise the much murkier end.

Ultimately, it is often the same companies involved in both ends of that spectrum – bear this story in mind the next time a news article with a nutritionally-dicey message can be traced back to 72 Point, or any other PR company.

“Parenting is hard, you’re probably going to want some advice!” says parenting website, via OnePoll

Baby news now, with the revelation that people ask for advice about naming their children:

One in 20 parents choose their child’s name by asking stranger’s opinions online

Naming your child after an ex, a sports team or a celebrity tot are among the UK’s biggest baby name turn-offs, a study has found.

Despite claims that celebrities influence the nation’s baby name choices, two in five couples refuse to pick the same name as any famous child.

And 20 per cent also can’t stand babies being named after adult celebrities.

Source: Mirror, 26th June 2019

It’s little surprise, then, to see that this is a story created and published by a parenting website keen to remind parents that strangers can be an excellent source of parenting information:

One in five of those polled by parenting site ChannelMum.com  have also red-carded any reference to sports teams and two thirds won’t use monikers which are already popular in their local area.

It’s even less of a surprise to see that ChannelMum paid 72 Point to get their marketing message published in a national newspaper.

“It’s actually cheaper to run an electric car these days, guys!” says electricity company, via OnePoll

Mobility news now, with the revelation that petrol is – get this, right – expensive:

Average driver will spend £56,000 on petrol in their lifetime, survey claims

The average driver will spend more than £56,000 on petrol during their lifetime, a survey claims. 

The poll of 2,000 motorists found that 84 per cent believe petrol and diesel is “too expensive”.

Source: Independent, 21st June 2019

TAKEN FOR A FUEL: Drivers spend a whopping £56,000 on fuel during their lifetime – as 40 per cent of Brits consider switching to electric

MOTORISTS fork out almost double the average annual salary on fuel over the course of their lifetime.

Shocking figures reveal drivers spend in excess of £56,000 just to fill their tank – on top of insurance, tax, and maintenance fees.

Source: The Sun, 21st June 2019

Motorists spend more than £56,000 on petrol during their lifetimes, study says

Motorists will spend more than £56,000 on petrol during their lifetime, according to a study.

The shocking figure emerged amid fears over ever-increasing fuel prices and insurance premiums, along with clean air zone fees.

Researchers found the cost of petrol and diesel is a ‘serious concern’ for drivers with 84 per cent arguing it is ‘too expensive.’

Source: Mirror, 21st June 2019

Who might be inclined, commercially and financially speaking, to draw attention to the high cost of petrol?

Commissioned by EDF Energy, the research of 2,000 motorists found 40 per cent of drivers are currently considering making the switch to an electric vehicle – a move which some experts believe could save them £41,000 over their lifetime.

This non-news story, as are so many others, was brought to you by 72 Point.

“Keeping a teenager amused during summer is expensive!” says teenage summer club, via OnePoll

Parenting news now, with the revelation that having a teenager during the summer holidays is ruinously expensive:

Parents spend more than £1,200 keeping their teens amused over summer holidays

Parents face a bill of more than £1,260 keeping their teens amused during the summer holidays, a study has found.

Researchers discovered taking children on day trips, buying video games and magazines, and the extra cost of childcare will set mum and dad back £502 over the six-week break.

And they’ll shell out more than £335 per child just on food and drinks, including meals out, lunches during trips, as well as snacks and treats.

Source: Mirror, 24th June 2019

With the now certain knowledge that keeping a teen busy in a productive and stimulating manner over summer is a terribly expensive affair, it’s worth understanding which organisation is behind this particular headline:

Chris Brown, director of sales programme recruitment at National Citizen Service (NCS) – a three to four week summer programme which helps 16-17-year-olds gain confidence, build life skills and become more active citizens in their communities, said: “Our research has highlighted an issue for many parents across the country who are unsurprisingly worried about the cost of the summer holidays.

“With the long break fast approaching, parents want to ensure that their teens are spending their time productively, without breaking the bank.”

Wait a second, I’m getting an idea here: what if – and hear me out on this one – what if you were to enroll your teenager in the NCS scheme this summer? That might be cheaper then entertaining them yourself, AND it could be good for their development!

Oh, what a fortunate and entirely coincidental thing it is that the news story that made you worry about how to amuse your teen this summer also sold you a solution to the same problem!

Well done, Bad PR regulars and constant PR sluice 72 Point, for putting this in front of parents at exactly the right time. For money.

“People should think about their home insurance!” says insurance comparison website

Shed news now, with the revelation that the small buildings at the foot of our gardens might actually have things in them:

Average Brit homeowner has £1,200 uninsured goods in gardens and sheds

The average homeowner has potentially more than £1,200 of uninsured goods in sheds and garden spaces, according to research.

Standard buildings and contents insurance policies usually include a certain amount of cover for items kept in the garden or shed.

However, two-thirds of Brits have never listed a key ‘outside’ item of value on their home insurance policy – leaving them with a potentially costly bill if thieves make off with the goods.

Source: Mirror, 28th June 2019

Who might be interested in encouraging the public to weigh up the value of the contents of their garden sheds?

MoneySuperMarket is advising people to minimise the risk of theft by fitting locks to garden gates and installing lighting to put off any would-be-thieves.

Helen Chambers, head of home insurance at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Particularly in the summer months, there’s the temptation to leave items of value outside overnight or keep your shed unlocked, but that could leave you open to a risk of burglary and in turn, possibly void your home cover if you need to make a claim.

“Most standard contents insurance policies include a small amount of cover for garden items, but specifics can vary wildly – so it’s worth checking to ensure that your valuable items are fully covered.

“The home insurance market is very competitive, so it’s also worth checking if you could get a cheaper premium elsewhere.

“If you haven’t switched for a while, that’s probably going to be the case.

“It takes minutes to switch to a competitive policy and you could save up to 43 per cent on your bills.”

Some classic making-the-marketing-message-explicit work from the MoneySuperMarket spokesperson, there.

Naturally, this is another 72 Point Bad PR special, with their very own Adrian Hearn given the by-line in the Mirror, as if he were a journalist and not a PR exec.

“It’s annoying to be ripped-off!” says mobile phone switching service, via OnePoll

Rip-off news now, with the revelation that we dislike paying too much for things:

Popcorn cinema and hospital parking top list of British rip-offs

Do you ever find yourself getting wound up at the price of healthy food, or the cost of anything at the airport?

Well you might be in good company, as a new study has revealed the top British rip-offs in modern life. Over 2000 adults were asked what they resent paying for, from eating, communicating and travelling.

The results show that more than half believed they get overcharged for things on a daily basis, with nearly 25 per cent even considering a move to another country to get away from ‘rip off Britain’.

Source: Metro, 27th June 2019

Brits’ biggest rip offs revealed from TV licences to cinema food and parking

Hospital car parking, food at the cinema and two-year phone contracts are among life’s biggest rip-offs, according to a study.

The study of 2,000 adults found eight in 10 believe there are ‘too many rip-offs in modern life’ in every area from eating, communicating and travelling.

Further overpriced products were found to be TV licenses, ‘anything’ at the airport and estate agent fees.

Source: Mirror, 27th June 2019

RIP-OFF BRITAIN: Hospital car parks, cinema snacks and mobile contracts found to be life’s ‘biggest rip-offs’

HOSPITAL car parking, food at the cinema and two-year phone contracts are among life’s biggest rip-offs.

A study of 2,000 adults found eight in ten believe there are “too many rip-offs in modern life” in every area from eating, communicating and travelling.

Source: The Sun, 27th June 2019

Who wants you to consider how miffed you get about paying more than you ought to for something?

The research was commissioned by SMARTY, tying in with the introduction of Auto-Switch on July 1st.

Under new regulations, all mobile providers will introduce Auto-Switch as a simplified way for consumers to switch between providers, this will ensure customers only have to contact their current provider once in order to move away from them.

SMARTY’s spokeswoman Jasmine Birtles said: “The results prove just how common rip-offs and hidden charges are and how frustrated Brits are at getting caught out by them.

Hat’s off to Bad PR regulars 72 Point, whose total infiltration of the Mirror’s online platform has once again paid dividends, with their full press release being printed without a jot of editing or fact checking, and by-lined to a 72 Point employee to boot.

“Breaking up should be easy!” says mobile phone company with easy way to ‘break-up’ with your current mobile provider, via OnePoll

Romance news now, with the revelation that British people have been dumped via text message:

EX-ED BY TEXT: More than one in five Brits have been dumped via TEXT by cruel partners

MILLIONS of Brits have been dumped by text, a study has found.

A poll of 2,000 unlucky-in-love adults found more than one in five has seen their relationship come to an end following a quick message.

And one in eight has been ghosted – where a relationship is ended with no explanation and sudden withdrawal from all communications.

Source: The Sun, 30th June 2019

Millions of Brits dumped by a quick text – but two thirds of us prefer it that way

Millions of Brits have been dumped by text, a study has found.

A poll of 2,000 unlucky-in-love adults found more than one in five has seen their relationship come to an end following a quick message.

And one in eight has been ghosted – where a relationship is ended with no explanation and sudden withdrawal from all communications. 

Source: Mirror, 30th June 2019

Who brings you this Very Important News Story about the role of mobile phones in our lives and our loves?

The study was commissioned by Sky Mobile to mark the arrival of text-to-switch in the UK, which means Brits will now be able to ‘break up’ with their phone provider by text. 

This story is nothing but an excuse to talk about Sky Mobile’s new SMS-based switching process, which is apparently so easy it’s like breaking up with your existing mobile phone provider over text. Everything else – the angle, the stats, the PR hook – is just the delivery mechanism for that marketing message, eagerly provided by Bad PR regulars 72 Point.

“Kids should wear sunglasses!” says kids sunglasses company, via OnePoll

Eyewear news now, with the revelation that parents want to protect their children’s eyes from the Sun:

Parents believes SUNGLASSES should become part of the school uniform

More than half of parents believe sunglasses should become an official part of school uniform, a study has found.

A study of 1,000 mums and dads with children aged 4-12 found 72 per cent worry about protecting their child’s eyes from the sun.

But only three in 10 send their child to school with sunglasses every time it’s sunny.

Source: Mirror, 27th June 2019

Which company is keen to emphasise the importance of sunglasses for children?

A spokesperson for monkey monkey sunglasses, which commissioned the study, said: “Parents are consistently telling us that their children are more likely to wear sunglasses on holiday or to leisure activities than at school.

“We just want parents to be aware that the midday and afternoon sun can be equally strong in the school playground, on the school sports field, or on the walk home from school, as it is on the beach.

While nobody, least of all anyone here at Bad PR, has any desire to see children’s eyes harmed by UV rays, it ought to be pretty apparent to any casual observer of the news that there is a problem with the media machine when a sunglasses company can create a headline in a national newspaper by paying 72 Point to create a non-story suggesting that people should buy their products.

What does this say for the independence and objectivity of the press?

“Wouldn’t it be good if we could bring some British ‘heroes’ back to life?!” says TV channel with show about British heroes, via OnePoll

Ill-judged mawkish news now, with the staggering news that British people think Princess Diana should come back from the dead in order to meet her grandchildren:

Princess Diana should come back to life so she can enjoy having grandkids, Brits say

The “People’s Princess” was chosen by a quarter of the population, who want her to return so she can enjoy her grandchildren and continue her charitable work.

Her life was tragically cut short on August 31, 1997 after a car accident in a Parisian tunnel, leading to an outpouring of national grief.

This Monday would have been Diana’s 58th birthday.

Source: Daily Star, 27th June 2019

From Princess Diana to Sir Alf Ramsey – people Brits want to bring back from dead

Princess Diana is the famous figure Brits would most like to bring back, according to a survey.

The beloved ‘People’s Princess’ was chosen by a quarter of the population, who want her to return so she can enjoy her grandchildren and continue her charitable work.

Her life was tragically cut short on 31st August 1997 after a car accident in a Parisian tunnel, leading to an outpouring of national grief.

Source: Mirror, 27th June 2019

While necromancy is an unusual look for any newspaper article, it’s an even bolder play for a PR story – but one that has clearly paid off for one particular company here, who secured several headlines with their supposed research finding that we all want to dig up Diana:

The research was commissioned by TV channel HISTORY, to launch series two of drama Knightfall on July 2 at 9pm.

A HISTORY spokesman said: “We’ve got no shortage of heroes and inspirational icons to look up to.

“But sometimes, it’s interesting to think back about the ones we’ve lost, and the impact they could have if they were around today.

“What lessons could geniuses and philanthropists from the past teach us now, if they could come back and see the state of the world?”

So, our supposed desires to resurrect famous British figures is little more than an advert for a TV channel which happens to have a show about British knights.

Naturally, we know who to thank for this mawkish ‘finding’ – 72 Point, demonstrating that when it comes to plumbing the depths to generate Bad PR headlines, they’re more than willing to dig to at least six feet under.

“People like TV shows that are now finished!” says TV channel running nostalgia campaign, via OnePoll

Nostalgia news now, with the revelation that people want to see more of the TV shows they really like:

BACK FOR MORE: The Inbetweeners is voted the TV show Brits would most like to see ‘rebooted’

THE Inbetweeners is the TV show Brits would most like to see ‘rebooted’ – according to a new survey.

A poll of 2,000 telly enthusiasts found one in four would like to see the popular comedy brought back and updated for modern audiences.

Source: The Sun, 23rd June 2019

The Inbetweeners is the TV show Brits would most like to see ‘rebooted’

The Inbetweeners is the TV show Brits would most like to see ‘rebooted’, according to a survey.

A poll of 2,000 telly enthusiasts found one in four would like to see the popular comedy brought back and updated for modern audiences.

Second on the list of most ‘rebootable’ TV shows was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which ran for seven series between 1997 and 2003.

Source: Mirror, 23rd June 2019

The Inbetweeners fans desperate for reboot despite disastrous Fwends reunion

We’re living in the golden age of the reboot, but there’s still one show we want to see return to our screens – The Inbetweeners.

Despite TV gold such as Desperate Housewives (14%) and Manhattan comedy Ugly Betty (11%) ranking high in the call for a comeback season, The Inbetweeners takes the crown for noughties nostalgia, with one in four demanding a present-day reboot.

Source: Metro, 22nd June 2019

Which company is behind this minor barrage of nostalgia-baiting headlines?

The poll was conducted by streaming service NOW TV, whose spokesman said: “It now looks like noughties TV is starting to make millennials feel nostalgic.”

How strange that the Now TV spokesperson would point to the nostalgic aspect of noughties TV, given their current promotion:

The Hills returns to MTV on Tuesday 25th June at 9pm, available to watch with the NOW TV Entertainment Pass for £7.99 contract free – along with several other 00s TV classics.

Once again, we have 72 Point to thank for this story – not only does their PR manager get the by-line in the Mirror AND The Sun, but their polling company OnePoll gets a namecheck in both articles, too.