Tag Archives: onepoll

“Women love to be harassed on the street!” says voucher company and PR firm, on International Women’s Day

Sometimes, Bad PR stories are almost too perfect in the way they encapsulate the problems in PR and in the media. Take, for instance, today’s story from the Daily Star, which appeared on page 8 of the print edition:

You can whistle 

Wolf calls survey anger

Some women actually like being wolf-whistled, accoridng to a provocative survey on International Women’s Day.

One in 11 – or 2.4 million – said they took it as a compliment.

But campaigners on the women’s rights day blasted the research’s “poor timing”. Despite it being treated as a hate crime, 39% of women told the study they “actively encourage” cat-calling and “hope” they will be wolf-whistled at.

Source: Daily Star, 9th March 2017

Astonishing, you might think, that the Daily Star would run a story that suggests that so many women actually enjoy being harassed on the street – and on International Women’s Day at that! But at least the Star had the good decency to ensure they published a story which ostensibly was at least critical of cat-calling, or of the survey, right?

Well, that’s the funny thing – the original press release didn’t condemn cat-calling at all, and played the street harassment angle for a bit of cheeky fun, highlighting how being wolf-whistled on the street actually makes women feel confident and desirable. I know it did, because I saw the original release:

1 in 11 British Women LIKE Being Cat-Called

New research has revealed that one in eleven British women like being cat-called, with 39% of these stating that they ‘actively encourage’ catcalls and ‘hope’ they will be catcalled when they leave the house. Furthermore, 15% of women admitted to finding unavailable men attractive.

According to new research, one in eleven British women actually like it when men cat-call them, with many confessing that they boost their confidence and that they leave the house hoping to encourage that kind of attention. Furthermore, 15% of women confess to being attracted to unavailable men, with the majority stating that it makes them feel ‘more desirable’.

There was no mention of International Women’s Day, at all (although there is surely no chance the story wasn’t timed to deliberately appear on that particular day). There was, however, a nicely prominent mention of the originators of this story:

The team at www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk conducted the research as part of an ongoing study into British attitudes towards each other. 2,488 British women aged 18 and over were quizzed about the way that they’re treated by others and vice versa, and what they look for in a potential suitor.

So where did the condemnation come into it, and where did the reference to International Women’s Day come from? All I can surmise is that the original story was so completely tone-deaf and exploitative in its overt brandwagoning that it was too sexist even for the Daily Star to publish in its original format.

So, half marks go to the Star for at least recognising and toning down the misogyny of the original, though it would have been far more ethical to simple never run the story in the first place. Clearly they had an editorial change of heart, because the online version of the story disappeared a little while after it had been published:

Of course, the Star ought to realise that the Internet never forgets, and the cached version of the story can still be read.

If the Star get half marks for their effort, zero marks have to go to VoucherCodesPro, the market research company used to compile the data (I’m pretty sure there is only One polling company likely to have been behind this one), and to the PR company who worked up this story for them – 10 Yetis.

As a wonderfully ironic wrinkle, 10 Yetis have a Bad PR blog of their own, with their daily “Examples of Good and Bad PR” news feed.

In it they pour through the day’s news to highlight examples of PR done very well, and PR that backfires, has a poor reception or comes from a less-than-positive place. As a marketing tool, I’m sure it does wonders for the ethical perception of their agency, that they talk about the ethics and effectiveness of work done in their industry.

I wonder if they have the ethical integrity to add their own cynical and counter-productive International Women’s Day brandwagoning effort to their Bad PR round up tomorrow? I won’t hold my breath.

“People hate living too far from work!” says London property rental company

British workers reveal what they hate most about the daily commute to work

The commute to work is never something to look forward to, especially since a study earlier this year suggested Britons spend over a year of their lives travelling to and from work.

So it’s not surprising that 45 per cent of British workers reportedly put a short commute as their top priority when moving home, and 47 per cent said they would not be willing to work anywhere that was “too far”.

Source: Independent, 2nd September 2015

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Commuting is a huge pain, and it’s therefore vitally important to reduce the time spent getting between where you live and where you work. And by ‘where you work’, obviously I mean London – this is a national newspaper after all, why would they assume anyone worked outside of London? We know London is key to the story, because of the company behind the ‘research’:

A new survey of 2,000 adults was carried out by One Poll on behalf of Get Living London. It found out the top 10 hates for commuters, as well as what they get up to during the journey to pass the time.

Note not only the mention of this blog’s favourite PR polling company, OnePoll, but that the story was paid for by Get Living London – a property rental company who specialise in London properties. We know this, because the story is merely a trimmed-down version of the press release on their website.

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“Women spend ages doing their make-up!” says cosmetics industry, CONSTANTLY

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and I understand that ‘regular’ is a bit of a stretch for a blog that takes entire years off at times), you’ll know that some angles are just sure-fire ways of getting yourself some media coverage.

Take, for instance, the claim that women spend large amounts of time applying make-up. Pretty standard stuff, right? It’s a fairly 1980s-comedian, suit-sleeves-rolled-up, stood-in-front-of-a-brick-wall, ‘what is the DEAL with…’ observation, right? Well, that doesn’t stop it making national news, including in the Daily Mail this week:

That’s a lot of lippie! Women spend TWO YEARS of their life applying make-up, splashing more than £12,000 on cosmetics

Sick of being nagged about the amount of time you take to get ready? Well new research shows that our partners may have a point.

According to new research, women spend almost two years of their life doing their make-up.

The recent study suggests that over a lifetime we spend an average of 722 days perfecting our health and beauty regimes – and all that prep doesn’t come cheap.

Source: Daily Mail, 27th August 2015

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I know what you’re wondering, and no, that’s not how anybody has ever spelt ‘lippy’. Also, you might be wondering who the company is behind this story, and I won’t keep you in suspense any longer on that one either:

The poll of 1,000 women, commissioned to mark the launch of Vaseline Spray Moisturiser, also revealed that one in ten women will spend up to two hours a day getting ready.

“But a sprayable moisturiser!”, I hear you cry, “That’s going to save me LOADS of time!” Or at least that’s pretty much what Vaseline hope you to think, at some level, when you read this story. It is literally the only reason that this story exists: to highlight to you a problem in your life, and then present to you the solution.

This isn’t a new phenomenon, as you might imagine – but you’d be surprised how often the commercial PR industry manages to bag coverage in the media by using stories of ‘shocking’ findings on how much time women spend applying makeup or how much they spend on cosmetics over the lifetime. For instance, back in March 2010 Superdrug told us that women spend £9,000 on make-up throughout their lives, and spend 330 days applying it:

Face value: How the average woman spends £9,000 on make-up in her lifetime

For many women, a new lipstick or eyeshadow can be a cost-effective pick-me – but a new survey has revealed that they will spend an average of £9,000 on make-up in a lifetime…

The poll, conducted by Superdrug for the launch of its new Make Up Academy range, revealed that the average woman spends nearly 20 minutes a day perfecting their look – a total of 330 days over her lifetime.

Source: Daily Mail, 17th March 2010

But then in July 2011, Bionsen deodorant informed us that women spent £100,000 in their lifetime on beauty products:

Women spend over £100k on make up in a lifetime… and would rather dump their boyfriend than go barefaced

It will come as no surprise to the women who despair at the rising cost of cosmetics.
With their clever marketing ploys and promises of youth, big beauty firms have women in their grip.

And as a new study shows, this addiction to cosmetics does not come cheap. Figures reveal that women fork out a staggering £100,000 on cosmetics over their a lifetime, according to a new study.

Source: Daily Mail, 29th July 2011

Where did that additional £91,000 come from? Even accepting that not all beauty products are in the make-up category, that’s still a hell of a lot of toner and shaving wax. Though it didn’t stop the Daily Mail running a second article on the same claim by Bionsen, a fortnight later.

Looking to 2012, and while we’ve no monitory claim we do have St. Ives informing us that women spend 43 weeks of their life applying make-up:

Women spend 43 weeks of their life applying make-up and perfecting their face before a night out

Most men think women take too long getting ready and now they may have the proof.

The average British woman devotes 91 hours a year to applying their make-up – that is 43 weeks a lifetime perfecting her face.

Women in the south typically take longer to prepare for nights out and dates than those in the north, with 12 per cent spending 45 minutes to one hour each day.

Source: Daily Mail, 18th July 2012

What a result! 43 weeks is just 301 days, meaning women have managed to shave off 10% of their time spent on beauty treatments since Superdrug’s 2010 report! Way to go girls, that’s efficiency for you! Sadly, such efficiency was never destined to last, and by just seven months later, Harley Street semi-permanent make-up clinic ‘Specialist Make-up Services’ broke some bad news:

That’s a LOT of slap! Women spend a year and three months of their lives applying make-up

It’s been said women take a lifetime getting ready and it has now been revealed the average British woman will spend over a year of her life putting on her make-up.

A new survey into women’s daily beauty regimes shows UK women spend a colossal 474 days – one year and three months – in their lifetime putting on cosmetics, the equivalent of over a whole week every year.

Source: Daily Mail, 20th February 2013

The second half of 2012 was a dark time for women, where on average each day they lost a full day of their lives to make-up application. A year later, online retailer FeelUnique.com dealt women a further blow:

Average woman spends £15k in her lifetime replacing make-up she has lost

Women mislay so much makeup they spend a staggering £15,872 replacing it during their lifetime, according to a new study.

The research found losing expensive cosmetics now costs the typical British woman £248 a year.

Those who do their makeup on the morning commute are some of the worst hit, with one in three leaving some on public transport.

Source: Daily Mail, 9th May 2013

Back in March 2010 women were only spending £9,000 on make-up in their lifetime, but by May 2013 they’re spending almost double that amount on make-up that never gets fully used? What a nightmare. I mean, it’s bad enough that women are shedding expensive make-up items left, right and centre, but it’s a further kick in the teeth that the ones most heavily hit are those who try to claw back a few precious minutes from the make-up abyss by multitasking their cosmetic routine with their commute.

Fast-forward to a few months later Superdrug came along to revise their estimates:

Price of beauty: Average woman will spend more than £18,000 on her face in a lifetime

From anti-ageing moisturisers to blemish-hiding foundations and lash extending mascaras – it costs money to look good.

And now the price of beauty has been calculated in a study that has found the average woman will spend more than £18,000 on her face in her lifetime.

Source: Daily Mail, 11th September 2013

Either women’s make-up consumption had doubled between 2010 and 2013, perhaps to keep in line with the apparent exponential growth in the time they spend applying it, or Superdrug must be pretty embarrassed to have originally underestimated their market by such a huge margin. If anyone ought to know how much money there is in the cosmetics market, it should be them. Still, we finally have entirely-accurate figures at least – a point which the Daily Mail celebrated by running the exact same story again, a fortnight later.

Superdrug’s best estimate stood for a few months, only to be challenged in January 2014 by ‘Health and Wellbeing Retailer’ (I know, right?) Beurer:

Women wear make-up for more than half their life: One in five admit they would refuse to open the door while bare-faced

The average woman will spend more of her life wearing make-up than not, according to a new report yesterday.

In a typical day, women will have a face full of cosmetics for nearly 13 hours a day and will have just 11 hours free from it.

Researchers surveyed a total of 2,000 women in a detailed study about women’s make-up habits and beauty routines.

The poll by health and wellbeing brand Beurer found the typical woman puts on her ‘face’ at precisely 8am and spends 11 minutes applying it.

The research discovered that the average women will spend £121 on cosmetics in a typical year and has around 13 items in her make-up bag.

Source: Daily Mail, 30th January 2014

Stick with me, as there’s a bit of maths to do here: if we roughly estimate that women wear make-up from the age of around 16 and continue to do so all the way up to the end of her life expectancy at 71, we can see that £121 per year is around £6,700 across a lifetime. Equally, 11 minutes spent applying each day works out at a little over 153 days. Crude estimates, of course, but it’s clear that Beurer’s extensive and entirely-respectable research comes in way, way below the figures we’ve seen thus far.

However, if anything, Beurer’s research just shows the value of peer review – because a few months later FeelUnique.com hit back, blowing the paltry £6,700 estimate out of the water:

Women spend £100,000 on make-up in their lifetime … and 60% say they would rather ditch their man than go without cosmetics

Ever wondered just how much we spend on make-up over our lifetime, or how much star power really affects the way we shop?
A new infographic reveals just that, showcasing a collection of research from dozens of British surveys into women’s and men’s grooming habits.

Source: Daily Mail, 1st July 2014

This one is a truly staggering finding – not only does it dwarf the previous figure, but it raises all other make-up estimates by an order of magnitude. Our previous record was set by Bionsen in 2011, who estimated the cost of all cosmetic products at £100,000 – yet FeelUnique.com claim their £100,000 figure only includes make-up. That’s a staggering rise of over 1000% from Superdrug’s obviously-accurate and utterly-reliable £9,000 back in 2010.

Clearly, 2014 was a golden age for the make-up industry, who could presumably expect to earn over three trillion pounds over the lifetimes of the 32.2m women in the UK. Strange, then, that the entire cosmetics industry (of which make-up represents a slice) was worth only £8.4 billion in 2013, according to the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association.

Perhaps the CTPA foresaw the oncoming crash of the cosmetics industry, which presumably happened between July 2014 and August 2015 – or how else could we account for Vaseline finding women’s total lifetime make-up spending to be an eighth of of the 2014 ‘research’? And what has happened in women’s lives that mean, according to Vaseline, they spend almost five times as much time applying make-up as Beurer claimed they did in 2014?

In case you’re struggling to keep up, here’s a simplified version of the ‘findings’:

Date Company Industry Time Money
March 2010 Superdrug Cosmetics Retailer 330 days £9,000
July 2011 Bionsen Deodorant £100,000
July 2012 St Ives Facial scrubs 301 days
February 2013 Specialist Make-Up Services Cosmetic clinic 474 days
May 2013 FeelUnique.com Cosmetics Retailer £15,872*
September 2013 Superdrug Cosmetics Retailer £18,000
January 2014 Beurer Wellbeing Retailer 153 days** £6,650***
July 2014 FeelUnique.com Cosmetics Retailer £100,000
August 2015 Vaseline Moisturiser 722 days £12,000

* figure is based on how much make-up women lose in their lifetime, not how much they buy
** 11 mins per day for 55 years, ie from aged 16 until life expectancy at 71
*** £121 per year for 55 years, ie from aged 16 until life expectancy at 71

So, what have we learnt? Well, the next time you see a story in the paper revealing the shocking amounts of time and money women spend on cosmetics, you should bear in mind that the model in the picture isn’t the only part of the story that’s totally made up.

“Scottish people should look after their money!” says money-saving website

£30 million a year spent in Scots coffee shops

SCOTS spend almost £30 million a year in coffee shops – or £80,000 a day – with some caffeine fans admitting to forking out hundreds of pounds for their morning latte or cappuccino every year.

Over a third of Scots – and a total of 17 million UK adults – visit a coffee shop at least once a week, according to a report from budgeting account provider thinkmoney.

Source: Scotsman, 24th August 2015

Stereotype-defying news in the Scotsman earlier this week, reporting on the finding that coffee culture has become so popular in Scotland that it’s now worth £30 million.

While it’s undeniable that coffee shops have boomed over the last couple of decades, it would be worth examining how the £30m figure was reached – was it derived from examining the accounts and financial statements of the biggest coffee outlets in Scotland? Not quite…

The poll of more than 2,000 adults – including 635 in Scotland – found that 1.6 million people make 15 or more trips to a coffee shop every month.

Almost one in ten surveyed says they make between five and ten monthly coffee shop visits, making their minimum spend around £220 per year.

The survey consisted of asking some people to try to remember how much coffee they buy – and that’s assuming the poll was fairly conducted and without any leading questions, which is often an overly-generous assumption to make. If that weren’t enough to raise questions of the methodology, the Herald Scotland elaborates further:

Conducted by OnePoll, 635 adults in Scotland were surveyed, with the study based on the £2.45 average price for a medium cappuccino or latte.

Our old friends at OnePoll, then. Forgive me for requiring a little more convincing. Plus, if we want any further reason to question the findings, it’s always worth looking at the company who commissioned the opinion poll:

Over a third of Scots – and a total of 17 million UK adults – visit a coffee shop at least once a week, according to a report from budgeting account provider thinkmoney.

Thinkmoney is a personal finance service, which sells itself on helping people make savings and analyse how much they’re spending, so they’re well-placed to benefit from suggesting to people that little spends add up to large amounts.

As ever, the ubiquitous spokesperson quote helps to seal the deal:

Ian Williams, spokesman for thinkmoney, said: “It’s easy to let small costs like takeaway coffees slip under the radar, so seeing how much we spend as a nation is quite eye-opening. Of course, a latte or a piece of flapjack won’t break the bank, but we just need to be careful not to let them burn too much of a hole in our pockets. I think a lot of people would be surprised to find out what their annual spend really adds up to.”

And we all know where Ian suggests people go to in order to find their annual spend…

“Sport is better than sex!” says sport betting company

Nearly 1/4 of Premier League fans skip sex sessions with partners to watch the footy

PREMIER League footy fans would rather watch a match than score with their partners in bed, a survey has revealed.

A total of 23% of Premier League fans in a committed relationship would pass up sex to watch the likes of Rooney, Costa and Sterling do the biz on the pitch.

Source: Daily Star, 12th August 2015

Cometh the return of the football season, cometh the trotting out of the age-old stereotypes around men putting their team before their partner. If we were in any doubt that the story is nothing more than an advert for a sports betting company, we have a helpful spokesperson to clarify things for us:

A spokesman for sportsBettingOnline.net, which commissioned the survey, said: “When Match of the Day comes on the telly on a Saturday night it’s a real battleground in the households of football supporters across the UK.

“Often one partner wants to end their Saturday by getting close to their other half while for many it’s a time to get close to Gary Lineker and catch up on the latest from the Premier League.

“It must be hard when you love one woman but adore 11 men.”

The Daily Star weren’t the only paper to pick up on the story, with The Sun and the Southern Daily Echo running it too. Indeed, a moment on Google turns up the original press release, which includes text of all three articles, practically verbatim.

Fortunately, things aren’t as bad as they once were for the women of the UK – merely a year ago, coincidentally around the start of the new football season, The Metro reported the number of men turning down sex ‘sessions’ for the ‘footy’ was catastrophically higher:

Finally there’s some proof that men would rather watch football than have sex

For every woman that has tried to unbutton her boyfriend’s jeans while whispering dirty thoughts in his ear only to be ignored while he fixates on the football – you are not alone.

A new survey has revealed that 40 per cent of men would rather get stuck into watching a Saturday afternoon match on the screen rather than have sex.

It’s a sad time for civilisation isn’t it?

Source: The Metro, 14th August 2014

So the news is good – in just under a year, men are turning their back on football in their droves, in order to focus on their partners! Rejoice!

Or, both of these polls are unreliable, being as they are simple opportunistic adverts for a sports betting company (2015) and a sex toy company (2014). I can’t wait to see who will be hiring OnePoll to help patronise football fans this time next year!

“Post-menopausal women still have to look sexy!” says skin supplement targeting post-menopausal women

Never one to shy from a taboo (if there’s precious, precious page clicks in it), the Daily Mail recently offered their take on the joys of post-menopausal sex:

The Mrs Robinson effect: Two out of five older women admit to being equally or more sexually active after menopause

Often misunderstood, the menopause is usually viewed as a time of slowing down for women, and the first sign of increasing years.

But new research reveals that two out of five menopausal women are either more or just as sexually active as they were before entering this period.

And one in ten is older women is having ‘more fun’ than in their 30s, with the same amount saying they can even see themselves enjoying life with a new partner, according to a survey of 500 women.

Source: Daily Mail, 30th June 2014

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A curious article, this one: while on the surface, it does appear to be a positive and uplifting message declaring confidently that the menopause doesn’t signal the death of the libido (which, all things being equal, is a nice message to be putting out), the source of the story is nevertheless problematic. The first hint as to the paymasters behind this PR study appears a little way in:

With it marking the end of menstruation, it has traditionally been known as the ‘change of life’ and the reduction in oestrogen can cause physical and emotional symptoms, such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and problematic skin.

Being neither menopausal nor female, I may not be best placed to comment, but I was a little surprise that this ‘post-menopause doesn’t mean post-sex’ article didn’t add libido-loss or other physical symptoms of problematic sexual lives (as a thirty year old man, I can’t get away with saying ‘vaginal dryness’ here, so I’ll leave that to the experts) to the list… and I was very surprised to see ‘problematic skin’ mentioned. It certainly had me skimreading the article quicker, leading me to:

The study, conducted by independent survey company OnePoll on behalf of Stratum C; developers of the UK’s leading skincare range for menopause; polled 500 women who were either going or had just gone through the symptoms.

First things first – it’s interesting to see Bad PR regulars OnePoll were behind the survey. Who’d have thought that OnePoll could so easily gather 500 post-menopausal women within the short window their online and unregulated polls remain open for – especially given the possibility for OnePoll users to circumvent screening questions in a quest for ever more micropayments.

If OnePoll’s screening and sampling isn’t utterly bulletproof, this story could easily be fatally compromised.

Secondly, take a look at the company who paid OnePoll (or paid a PR company to pay OnePoll) to gather the data – a skincare company targetting menopausal women. Suddenly that positive ‘you’re still sexy!’ spin looks a lot more like ‘you still need to buy products to make you look sexy!’, doesn’t it?

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Tim Clover, CEO of Stratum C, said: ‘We’ve inevitably become a contact point and hub for women to ask questions or tell us about their experiences. It’s fantastic when we hear stories of people embracing this new phase in their lives and are feeling confident about it.

‘These are vibrant women often with healthy sex lives; even contemplating a new partner in some cases. They care a great deal about feeling good and being confident in their appearance is clearly as important as it’s ever been.

Clearly, Tim, appearances are as important as ever – but post-menopausal women the land over doubtlessly want to express their gratitude to you and to Stratum C for reminding them of their ceaseless obligation to focus on their appearance.

“Buy a new television, you’ll have better sex!” says voucher company offering discount TVs

Does having a TV in your bedroom lead to more sex?

Those of you that spend your precious post-work hours in bed watching Game Of Thrones, give yourself a pat on the back, because it’s you lucky chaps that are getting more sex. Hurrah!

According to a new survey, couples who have a television set in their bedroom have sex twice a week, compared to those who don’t, who only engage in love-making *snigger* once a week.

Well, it’s hard to have spontaneous sex while you’re sitting in separate armchairs, balancing a cup of tea and some HobNobs isn’t it?

Source: Metro, 29th May 2014

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Want to spice up your love life? Get a TV in your bedroom! People with a telly in the boudoir have TWICE as much sex (what ARE they watching?)

Having a TV in your bedroom may damage your sleep cycle – but it could also spice up your sex life, if the latest research is to be believed.
Those with a TV in their bedroom have sex, on average, twice as much as those who don’t, according to a new poll.

Initially all respondents were asked ‘Do you have a TV in your bedroom?’ to which three quarters, 74 per cent, of the people taking part said ‘yes’.

Source: Daily Mail, 3rd June 2014

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In the world of tabloids and cheap PR, there’s no shortage of companies and products promising you a better sex live. There are plenty of examples listed on this very website, no less.

Who is it this time pressing the big red button labelled SEX?

A spokesperson for VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, who commissioned the research, said: ‘We’re a little surprised that Britons who have a TV in their bedroom have a more active sex life than those who don’t, but it makes more sense when you look at the possible reasons why.

Oh really, discount voucher website? You believe this is genuine research, then? And definitely not about convincing people to take advantage of your discount deals on televisions?

‘However, we’d suggest that if they were wondering how to improve their sex lives, they could do so simply by purchasing a TV for their bedroom.

‘Technology is becoming such a pivotal part of everyday life and it’s becoming much more common to have a TV in your bedroom than to not.

Whilst it’s much better for your health to use your bedroom as a place to sleep and your living room as a place to watch TV, it seems that the addition of a plasma could spice things up between the sheets!’

I thought as much.

“Your children know nothing about gardening!” says shopping channel with gardening section

Chocolate bars come from the ground say children who don’t know what a spade is for… latest poll on how much British children don’t know

One in 20 British children under the age of ten believe chocolate bars grow in the ground and even more think flowers are man-made, a new survey revealed today.

A shocking poll also found one in three did not know that potatoes grew in the ground and one in four had no idea what a spade was used for.

Their parents did not perform much better, with 12 per cent unable to recognise a conker when shown a picture.

Source: Daily Mail, 26 May 2014

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Children, yet again, prove themselves to be completely ignorant about the basic things in life – like nature, food, and how to effectively fill in an online survey they don’t care about and may not actually be present during the completion of.

In case you’re wondering who it is that’s calling your child an idiot this week, paragraph four makes it clear:

A survey of 2,000 parents and their children for home shopping channel QVC has revealed how little many know about the natural world.

There’s no surprises who QVC commissioned to conduct the survey – look no further than Bad PR regulars OnePoll:

In a recent survey conducted by One Poll, we asked 2,000 UK adults how gardening features in their family lives, both in their own childhoods and now.

Our research even found that, of the children asked, 5% believed chocolate came from UK soil and 20% thought flowers were man-made.

This is certainly problematic: as I’ve highlighted before, polling companies like OnePoll often have inadequate means of ensuring children are actually taking web surveys designed to gauge their opinion, and could arguable be said to actively incentivise parents to take polls on their child’s behalf… utterly invalidating the results.

So, when newspaper articles declare the youth of today to be ignorant, based on an invested party employing a web survey company with questionable research methodology, I tend not to panic (at least, not about the youth of today – though the state of the media landscape that leads to the publishing or blatant PR as pseudosociological news does raise the blood pressure somewhat).

Finally, if you’re wondering why QVC are suddenly taking an interest in the education of the nation’s children, it might be something to do with a new campaign they’ve launched:

Bosses at QVC are launching a Watch Them Grow campaign encouraging parents to spend time gardening with their children.

Of course, the new campaign has almost certainly nothing to do with the extensive gardening range on offer on the QVC website, even if they explicitly urge you to browse their garden products in the Call To Action at the bottom of their report on the ‘research’.

They’re not instructing you to buy from them – they’re merely planting the seed.

“Possessions are really important!” says cashback website

Society’s status symbols have changed from ponies to pools

SYMBOLS of success now include a high-performance car, a nanny and a swimming pool in the back garden, a study revealed yesterday.

The survey showed just how much times have changed in the space of a generation.

Thirty years ago, a dishwasher, a mobile phone and a colour TV were thought of as signs of having money.

In comparison, to be judged a success now you need to travel in business or first class, own a second home and have a designer watch.

Source: Daily Express, 21 April 2014

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From dishwashers to swimming pools: How status symbols have been upgraded over the past 30 years

Gone are the days of showing off a cordless phone, dishwasher and conservatory to make your friends jealous.

Because symbols of success are now considered to include high performance cars, a nanny and a swimming pool in the back garden.

A study of 2,000 Britons shows how much times have changed in the space of one generation, with items used to show off wealth in the 1980s, such as microwaves, colour TVs and mobiles now considered nothing more than ordinary.

Source: Daily Mail, 21 April 2014

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While this pair of articles may ostensibly explore the relationship between status symbols past and present, the real purpose is to highlight just how important it is to have the latest must-have, to be valid in today’s society:

The survey of 2,000 Britons also found that four in 10 believe people place more importance on status symbols now than in previous generations.

Why such importance? Because this article was created by Bad PR regulars One Poll and placed into the papers by an online cashback site, whose very business model relies on people spending:

Andy Oldham, managing director of cashback website Quidco.com, said: “Things our parents grew up dreaming of owning – a dishwasher, colour TV and even a mobile phone – are now so normal that almost everyone has them.

“One thing that remains is the desire to have the best of the best and be a success.”

“People are living longer than ever!” says life insurance comparison site

We’re not oldies until we are 80: Poll shows that Britons expect to stay youthful

OLD age does not now start until the age of 80, according to a poll.
The research among people over 40 found that the vast majority of them will not consider themselves to be old until they reach the landmark birthday.

In contrast, previous generations thought of themselves as old at least 20 years earlier.

Healthier and more active lifestyles, staying in work longer and seeing more older people in the spotlight are among reasons for the change in attitude.

Source: Daily Express, 21 May 2014

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You aren’t old until you’re 80! Healthy and active lifestyles mean older people are now staying younger for longer

Old age begins at 80 – almost 20 years later than previous generations believed.

Thanks to healthier and more active lifestyles, working later in life and more public awareness of the elderly and their needs, older people are staying younger longer.

More than one in five Britons even believe you can reach 90 before you are considered old, a study of 2,000 over-40s says.

Source: Daily Mail, 21 May 2014

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Good news for all my septuagenarian readers – you’re not over the hill just yet! It’s official, because an insurance comparison site says so:

A spokesman for PayingTooMuch.com, which commissioned the research, said: “Perceptions of old age have changed a lot over the last few years.

“There was a time when you were considered old or past it as soon as you retired.

“But we are now leading healthier and more active lives well into our 70s. ­

Now, what should you do with that newfound lease of life? Maybe you should make sure you aren’t paying too much for your life insurance, whaddyasay?

“People are also working later in life than ever before. And even if they don’t feel particularly young or fit, it adds to the illusion that they are still young.

‘But while you might not be ‘old’ until much later in life now, it’s important not to put off decisions regarding retirement or later years such as life insurance, wills or pensions.

‘Old age might seem far off for most, but it’s better to be prepared now than regret not doing something later on.’