Tag Archives: Telegraph Reporters

“Couples row when things aren’t tidy!” says Swedish storage-solution retailer

I hate how untidy my flat gets, and so does my girlfriend… which is why I’m glad The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph are on hand to give my relationship the helping hand it really needs:

Couples row 104 times a year about mess (and one in five men STILL think cleaning is a woman’s job)

From debates over whose turn it is to wash up to niggles over the laundry, it’s commonplace for couples to bicker every now and then.

But according to the latest survey, British couple have 104 arguments a year about the mess in their homes – and it’s causing some serious rifts.

A staggering 2.4 million couples row twice a week about who should tidy up with arguments becoming so heated it affects their sex lives – and even causes some to break up.

In fact, the study found that two thirds of women (67 per cent) have refused to have sex when distracted by clothes that need to be folded, hung up or put away.

The research found one in five couples, 18 per cent, row at least once a week about which one is causing the mess.

Source: Daily Mail, 1 March 2013

British couples row twice a week about the mess in their homes, study finds

A staggering 2.4 million couples row twice a week about who should tidy up with arguments becoming so heated it affects their sex lives and causes some to break up.

Two thirds of women have refused to have sex when distracted by clothes that need to be folded, hung up or put away.

The research found one in five couples, 18 per cent, row at least once a week about which one is causing the mess.

Women’s biggest complaint was revealed to be their man leaving piles of clothes on the floor, with 36 per cent irritated by this.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 1 March 2013

I’ll stress two things up front: 1) I am not one of the 20% of men who think cleaning is still a woman’s job, and 2) I highly doubt 20% of men still think cleaning is a woman’s job at all, just as much as I doubt the veracity of any of these statistics, given all we know about opinion polls and the motives of the companies who commission them.

What I don’t doubt, however, is that this article from churnalist-extraordinaire Bianca London of the Daily Mail came from a press release put out by Swedish self-assemblers and horsemeatballers Ikea:

A spokesman for Ikea, who carried out the survey, said: ‘People have very different ideas about what “tidy” means, but it is still remarkable how many couples argue several times a week about mess and clutter in their homes.

‘It is sad some argue so much it affects their love lives or may even lead to them splitting up, when simple storage solutions could help them live happily.’

Ikea there, being as balls-out bare in the UK press as they would be in a Swedish sauna in explaining that buying Ikea products will put an end to arguing. The irony, which they absolutely HAVE to be aware of in writing this press release, is that no couple can visit an Ikea store without having the most blazing of rows.

“A good mum feels guilty all the time!” says parenting company guilt-tripping new parents

Ever on the lookout for ways to make women feel bad about themselves, The Daily Mail and The Telegraph newspapers recently pondered the question ‘Why do mums these days feel so damn guilty all the time?’ 

Guilt of modern mothers at having too little time for children

Modern mothers are constantly wracked by guilt – with not earning enough money or being able to give the children the attention they crave topping the list, it emerged today.

Being too busy or tired, not being able to afford everything the kids want and returning to work also made the list.

Other issues which leave mothers feeling bad include not going on more family days out, relying on the television to occupy kids while doing housework and a lack of patience.

Source: The Telegraph, 21 January 2013

The Daily Mail took it one step further, suggesting not only are some mothers feeling guilt pangs, but in fact MOST mothers are:

The trick here is quite apparent: tell the world that most mothers are constantly wracked with guilt – even if this isn’t true – and you’ll make those mothers who aren’t feeling guilty worry that they’re missing something, or that they’re less attentive and responsible than other mothers… making the number of mothers who feel guilty that little higher. 

Plus, if that weren’t enough, there’s even a handy checklist of things most mothers are worried about (read: things a GOOD mother OUGHT to be worried about). 

Still, this is PR after all, so who is behind it?

Joanne Evans, head of marketing for NUK, said: ‘It seems mums are suffering a huge amount of guilt when it comes to their kids, within days of their child being born because of the myth surrounding how we should care for our babies.

‘Whether using a dummy or deciding to use formula milk instead of breastfeeding, mums can feel like they are doing something wrong within their child’s first few days of life.

‘And these results show that the guilt never goes away – if anything, it only gets worse as their child gets older.

That would be NUK, the babycare product company, telling us that all mothers are worried all the time about fears which could allayed by buying affordable babycare products, such as:

2. Not being able to afford everything they want
6. Not earning enough money
14. Not having more money to spend on new clothes / toys for my children
17. Not having enough time or money to provide freshly cooked and healthy meals
25. Feeding a baby formula milk instead of breastfeeding
26. Being a stay-at-home mum and not bringing in any money
27. Leaving my baby to cry and self-soothe

The research came once more from polling company OnePoll, with a churnalism analysis of the resulting press release making for interesting reading:

The Daily Mail’s article took 77% of the original press release and published it verbatim – that’s reasonably interesting. However, The Telegraph managed to take this press release and turn it into two articles, both taking over 90% of their copy from the one press release.

If that doesn’t make you worry, I’m not sure what does.

“People aren’t cleaning enough!” says cleaning company

You people are disgusting! Not my words, but the words of the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail:

Seven in 10 Brits unable to find time to clean homes

Millions of Brits reckon live in homes even they describe as a ‘pigsty’ – because they are too busy to clean, a study revealed today.

Researchers found seven in ten Brits are unable to find the time to take care of everyday chores such as vacuuming, dusting and cleaning the bathroom.

Fifty-seven per cent of people even admitted they have times when they would describe their home as a ‘pigsty’ because they never have a chance to tidy it up.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 18 January 2013

And the Daily Mail’s version:

How clean is YOUR house? 70% of Brits say they live in a pigsty, one in 10 hasn’t cleaned their bathroom in a month… yet STILL they say they’re too busy to tidy

Millions of British families live in homes they would describe as a pigsty – because they are too busy to clean, a study reveals today.

Researchers found seven in 10 Brits are unable to find the time to take care of everyday chores such as vacuuming, dusting and cleaning the bathroom.

And a messy 57 per cent of people even admitted they have times when they would describe their home as a pigsty because they never have a chance to tidy it up.

Source: Daily Mail, 18 January 2013

You see? You’re all filthy slobs, living in your pigstys, having never cleaned your house, pretending not to be wallowing in your own filth for weeks on end. Frankly, I’m disgusted by you all. And I’m not alone:

A spokesperson for cleaning product firm Spontex, said: “We are leading busier lives than ever and when you are juggling so much, it’s inevitable that something has to give.

“And it seems that for many, staying on top of their household chores and keeping their home spotless is what they are letting fall by the wayside.

Not only is it apparent that your homes are filthy, but even a spokesperson for a cleaning company thinks so – and they should know, after all, because they sell the kind of cleaning supplies that would make your messy homes clean again.

So, this was a press release put out by Spontex to make us all feel bad about the state of our homes. Who did Spontex hire to create the story? I emailed them to find out – and soon got a response from Purplefish PR Ltd:

Of course, Purplefish didn’t conduct the research themselves… that honour went to none other than 72 Point’s OnePoll:

The one question left to answer: who churned the press release the most – the ‘Daily Telegraph Reporters’ or Deni Kirkova from the Daily Mail? In fact, the Telegraph took a whopping 90% of the press release, beating the 82% from the Daily Mail – although the Mail had the gall to attribute the article to a named journalist.

Not for the first time, it’s clear that more than anything, it’s journalism that’s badly in need of a clean up.

“People eat at their desk!” says snack company

As anyone who has ever worked in an office (ie anyone) will know, people sometimes eat at work, rather than eat in their own time. This, however, is actually not something we’ve all known and come to terms with long ago, but in fact a startling revelation featured recently in the Telegraph:

One in three eat lunch al desko, study finds

More than one in three office workers eat lunch at their desk because of pressure from their employers, according to a study.

In a national survey, 10 per cent claimed their employer expected them to be in the office at all times – even for meals.

A third of the 2,000 workers polled said they now eat one meal at their desk a day while one in 30 claimed that their job would be at risk if they didn’t eat lunch in front of their computer.

Source: The Telegraph, 15 January 2013

The trappings of PR are all too clear to see with this story: the commonsensical nature of the findings, the invention of a media-friendly buzzterm, the geographic data-mining to show which areas are worst affected (hint: in any given list, somewhere has to be last). 

As for the numbers involved, I wonder if anybody – including the journalists who paste these stories into the press – ever actually read them. The headlines generally have little to do with the balance of the numbers, for one thing. Which is to say, what we’ve found with this article, if the numbers are an accurate reflection of real life (they’re no, by the way), is that two thirds of people never eat breakfast or lunch at their desk.

Look out for how often the headlines for PR survey stories never reflect the majority of any given statistic – it’s only ever a hook to get an media-friendly hook into a visible and prominent place.

Returning to the ‘al desko’ story, who funded it? Well, to get there, we need to examine the secondary angle to the article, skipping over the lunch-based headlines:

But it is not only lunchtime sandwiches which are being consumed in the workplace – colleagues are increasingly eating breakfast at work with a quarter of employees now having the first meal of the day during work hours.

Not all workers are complaining about missing out on a home cooked breakfast. Sixty per cent of workplace breakfasters said eating at their desk gave them more time in bed in the morning, while one in 10 said it effectively meant they started work later.

Cereal and porridge were the most popular workplace breakfast choices but, despite the change of setting, the hearty breakfast has not been lost with one in 20 polled claiming to occasionally manage to eat a fry-up at their desk.

We’ve now switched from looking at how awful it is that the poor workforce of our nation is consigned to their desks even to eat, to now celebrating the wise old foxes who breakfast at their desk to maximise their time in bed. Clearly, it seems, that lunch ought not to be eaten at work, but a breakfast in the office is a breakfast of champions. Which brings us neatly to:

Alpro, who carried out the survey, said: “This study shows that time-pressed workers now often have no choice but to eat many of their meals at their desk.”

That would be Alpro, the breakfast yoghurt manufacturers who are currently encouraging people to tweet in photos of their ‘deskfest’ office-based-breakfasts, as part of their ‘eat your breakfast at work’ PR campaign.

So, a breakfast yoghurt company running a promotion aiming to get people to eat breakfast at work sponsors a survey telling people eating breakfast at work is a cool and wise thing to do, and the Telegraph publish the results as if this were really news? They must by completely out to lunch…