Tag Archives: ruth styles

“People are forgetting to eat breakfast!” says breakfast food company

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – we’re told this regularly, and it’s constantly in the media – and, as we all know, if a message is given to us relentlessly in the media, it has to be because it’s the truth… from the Daily Mail, January 3rd:

Too BUSY to diet? Half of Brits say fast-paced lifestyles makes it impossible to eat heathily (sic)
– More than 50 per cent of Brits say they are too busy to go on a diet
– 40 per cent revealed they eat breakfast in less than 10 minutes
– A fifth admitted to skipping breakfast and lunch altogether, instead choosing to snack throughout the day

If you’re planning a January diet to shift the extra pounds piled on over Christmas, you had better make sure you can find time in your schedule.

A new survey has revealed that more than 50 per cent of British people are too busy to eat properly and instead rely on food eaten on the go.

As a result, healthy eating is made harder, with many relying on snacks and sandwiches to get through the day.

Source: Daily Mail, 3 January 2013

It seems we’re a nation intent on losing weight and eating right – it is January, after all, and resolutions are kicking in – yet we’re persistently thwarted by the age we live in, meaning our attempts always fall on stony ground.

It’s fair to assume, also, that the Daily Mail are decrying our ability to eat healthily, and that it was a mere typo in the very headline of the story that suggested we instead struggle to eat ‘heathily’ (either that, or the Mail are particularly frustrated at the restaurant facilities in the most isolated areas of the moors).

Most interesting of all is the finding that we’re increasingly skipping breakfast – the meal we’re told is:

…said by nutritionists to be the healthiest meal of the day and essential for dieters…

This is of particular interest, given that the originators of the ‘study’ were the New York Bakery Company – purveyors of fine breakfast bagels, and entirely impartial on the matter of how many people ought to be eating breakfast, and where they ought to buy their breakfast from.

“Women want a shapelier figure!” says retailer selling shaping underwear

Sometimes, the workings of PR can be subtle and hard to track. Other times, the message is as clear and blatant as can be – take, for example, this from the Daily Mail:

All I want for Christmas is a waist! Hourglass figure like Kelly Brook and Holly Willoughby tops women’s most wanted list

Skinny straight up and down figures might dominate the catwalk and the red carpet, but for British women, the shape of choice is a curvy hour-glass.

Almost three quarters of women surveyed said that a figure with a small waist balanced by larger breasts and hips was the ideal.

And rather than wanting to emulate the stick thin likes of Kate Moss, most women would prefer to have the figures of curvier celebrities such as Kelly Brook, Holly Willoughby, Beyonce and Kate Winslet.

Source: Daily Mail, 17 December 2012


Queue lots of photographs of celebrities who are in the media at the moment, who have hourglass figures. That these celebrities almost certainly either naturally have such a shape, or spend a large part of their lives in training and working out in order to maintain such a shape, is beside the point – these are now the aspirational figures we’re fed, to make all women feel bad if they don’t measure up.

But wait, for the (90%) of women in the population who don’t have the figure that professional model Kelly Brook has, there’s a saviour and a solution, in the form of some underwear from Debenhams (who seeded the story)!

Sharon Webb head of lingerie buying and design at Debenhams commented: ‘Even in the fifties most women, including film stars, had foundation garment help in creating their tiny waists.

‘Then they were called girdles and corsets and were a lot more uncomfortable than the modern versions, but thanks to innovative modern materials it is now a lot easier to get that coveted hourglass shape and nipped-in waist than it was in our grandmothers day.

‘It also helps that people are so much more open about using shapewear now. Some of our customers have admitted to being embarrassed about needing a little smoothing help in certain areas but once they realise so many celebrities have all talked openly about wearing shapewear they much more confident about buying it themselves.’

Sell people a problem, then sell people the solution to it: it’s PR in a nutshell.


“People have affairs!” says extra-marital ‘dating’ website

Is January 7th the day when men are most likely to have an affair? Yes, says the Daily Mail:

Lock up your husbands! TODAY is the most adulterous day of the year (PLUS: Five signs your partner is cheating)

If you’ve had an uncomfortable festive season punctuated by rows, then watch out! 

Today is the day people are most likely to start an affair – and the tensions of the Christmas period are partly to blame.

Traffic on married dating websites shoots up by 25 per cent on 7 January, new research has revealed.

Source: Daily Mail, 7 January 2013


It would seem married couples have good cause to fear January 7th, then… or they would have, were this not a press released placed by ‘extra-marital dating’ website Illictencounters.com, who it’s fair to say have something of a commercial interest in promoting the idea that affairs are increasingly commonplace.


“Women want men to be better groomed!” says male grooming product range, days before Christmas

Men simply aren’t as attractive or alluring as they used to be, and it’s a source of much disappointment to the women of the 21st century – according to new ‘research’ published in the Daily Mail just days before Christmas:

Bring back the gentleman! 1950s voted most desirable era by modern women who are desperate for men to make more of an effort 
– 61 per cent of women want a 1950’s type man
– Although most men think they know how to be gentlemen, only 50 per cent of women agree
– Good manners are lacking in modern men according to women

Addicted to Mad Men? Got a hankering for a dapper gent? Well you aren’t alone.

A new survey has revealed that modern women regard the men of the 1950s as the most desirable of all time – and would love their 21st century counterparts to make more of an effort with their manners and appearance. 

Unlike modern males, men in the 1950’s regularly held doors open for women, and had a wardrobe full of well-pressed two piece suits.

Source: Daily Mail, 21 December 2012

So it seems, then, that the feminist revolution of the 1960s was in vain… or this research is promotional nonsense for a company invested in making men feel they need to take on selected behaviours:

Ian Linaker, co-founder of Scaramouche & Fandango, said: ‘Our results show that today’s men are a far cry from the more well-mannered and desired gentlemen of the 50s, especially as only 47 per cent of men polled revealed they have some sort of grooming regime.

‘The concept behind Scaramouche & Fandango is that any man can look well groomed, even on the go, thanks to our travel-friendly, high quality post-able products.”

That’s right: use their product, and they can turn you into the man that all women say they want you to be. As an advertising message, it sounds like something Don Draper himself could have come up with, 60 years ago.

“Men need to be better at buying presents for women!” says shop selling presents for women

You know how men are completely clueless and baffled simpletons when it comes to anything at all, especially when it comes to their partner? A bit like the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Huffington Post told us recently:

Wife’s bra size? Dress size? Date of birth? This might sound like basic information but millions of men haven’t the faintest idea 

Millions of men are completely clueless when it comes to choosing a Christmas gift for their significant other a new survey has found.

39 per cent have no idea what their wives’ bra size is, while another 23 per cent don’t know what dress size she takes.

Most shamefully of all, 12 per cent don’t even know their other halves’ date of birth.

Source: Daily Mail, 26 November 2012


We poor, befuddled, baffled and idiotic men! Millions of us are astonishingly ignorant about our lady partners (presumably the Mail is only talking about heterosexual married couples, it seems). We sit across the breakfast table, staring blankly at the stranger looking back at us, desperately trying to place where we’ve seen her before, and what she does for a living, and what her favourite perfume is. Because knowing your wife’s favourite perfume is one of the absolute most important details you can know. We know this is true for two reasons:

1) The article in the Mail makes this very clear to us:

The survey also found that 34 per cent of men have no idea what their partners’ favourite perfume is and 24 per cent don’t know what her favourite clothes shop is…

…Not surprisingly, the research, conducted by high street beauty retailer, Superdrug, also found that 40 per cent of couples have fallen out because the man has forgotten – or not bothered to ask – about things he ought to know.

That would be high street beauty retailer and perfume seller, Superdrug, informing men that forgetting which perfume your wife wears will lead to a falling out. This comes, bear in mind, one month before Christmas…

2) The article is a near duplicate of an article which appeared in the Mail in February 2010, which also spoke of ignorant men neglecting basic pieces of information on their partners, such as date of birth, eye colour and… favourite perfume:

Think he knows you? Think again! How millions of men don’t know their partner’s dress size, date of birth, or even eye colour 

Facing each other over the breakfast table each morning, a husband and wife might think they know everything there is to know about each other.

In his case, he would probably be wrong.

Millions of British males are astonishingly ignorant about their partner’s basic characteristics including clothes size and even eye colour.

Source: Daily Mail, 09 February 2010


The source of the story back in February 2010 – five days before Valentine’s Day – was the Perfume Shop, as made explicit in the article at the time:

According to a survey of 2,000 men buying scent for their female partner at the Perfume Shop, six out of ten believed they knew her inside out.

So, if this data was from men caught walking out of the Perfume Shop, what gives? Has Superdrug hijacked the research to run an almost-identical story over two years later?

I doubt it – in fact, the original piece wasn’t actually a survey of men buying perfume for their partner in the perfume shop, but was in fact an online survey from 72 Point’s ubiquitous nonsense factory OnePoll… as was the latest survey put out on behalf of Superdrug:


This leads to some rather intriguing questions, it’s fair to say. For instance, was the data gathered by the Perfume Society back in 2010 so stunningly accurate that almost three years later it correlates so closely with the figures gathered in a follow up study?

Or, conversely, was the data gathered in the survey commissioned by the Perfume Shop repackaged, slightly updated and then re-sold as being for Superdrug much later? We know for certain Superdrug were behind the latest story, as their press release is still featured on the 72 Point site, so this certainly isn’t a case of Superdrug rechurning the work done for the Perfume Shop brand.

Most intriguingly, if the latter, are Superdrug aware that the stats they’re running with are potentially almost three years outdated? When I called Superdrug’s PR agency Z-PR to ask them, I was told the research was “unequivocally brand new research, which (the PR contact) commissioned herself”. Curious…