Tag Archives: telegraph

“Everyone’s getting a beard transplant!” says surgeon willing to do ridiculous procedure

Wannabe hipsters can get a beard transplant for £7,000

A check shirt, waistcoat and fixed-gear bike used to be enough to set the aspiring hipster on his way. For the whiskerless wannabe, it seems that something more drastic is now required: a beard transplant.

Rising numbers of men are having facial follicle grafts to achieve the bushy look favoured by trendy urbanites, surgeons say. The cultural link between beards and masculinity is also fuelling demand in some ethnic groups.

Source: The Times, 3rd October 2015

privateclinic-03102015-times

Men are spending thousands on beard transplants

Men said they had spent up to £14,500 on beard transplants.

Men are spending thousands of pounds to fill in their patchy beards, as the number of beard transplant procedures increases dramatically.

Men surveyed by The New York Times said they spent up to £14,500 on beard transplants to achieve a fully groomed look.

Source: Independent, 2nd October 2015

privateclinic-03102015-independent

Beard transplants really are all the rage, aren’t they? In fact, is there anyone among us who haven’t had one? I’ve personally had three, because this is definitely a thing and definitely a big trend and definitely not just a PR piece for a private hair clinic to try to pretend that the niche service they offer is secretly the Next Big Thing:

The number of beard transplants performed has risen from being just 1.5 per cent of all hair restoration procedures undertaken internationally in 2012 to 3.7 per cent in 2014, according to the nonprofit medical association, International Society of Hair Restoration.

Vincenzo Gambino, president of the ISHRS said: “While a clean-shaven appearance is still popular, beards are now very trendy among more males than ever before thanks to their resurgence in Hollywood and among professional athletes.”

“For those who prefer a fuller beard or more facial hair, beard hair transplants offer excellent results.”

Well, thank god the ISHRS is here to offer us expensive and clearly-niche surgery to live up to the latest look, while using their PR to make out like this is an entirely normal state of affairs. Otherwise this whole story could have seemed utterly ridiculous.

“You’re probably going to be too poor to be buried!” says insurance company

The not-so-great leveller: dramatic differences in cost of dying just miles apart

Bereaved cutting back on flowers and opting for cheaper coffins to curb impact of funeral inflation

It is meant to be the great leveller but in Britain even death comes with a dramatically different price tag depending on where you live.

New research has exposed wide variations – as extreme as differences in house price – between the cost of funerals and burials in different postcodes.

Source: Telegraph, 5th October 2015

royallondon-05102015-telegraph

Average cost of a basic funeral has leapt by £140 in one year, says new report

‘Vulnerable bereaved people are taking on increased debt; and we predict this problem will worsen’

The average cost of a basic funeral has leapt by £140 in the space of a year, a report has found.

Across the UK, the typical cost is now £3,702, a 3.9 per cent increase compared with 2014, when the average cost was £3,562, the insurer Royal London said.

Source: Independent, 5th Ocotber 2015

royallondon-05102015-independent

This story garnered a lot of coverage recently, not just in the Telegraph and Independent, but also in the BBC, the Guardian, the Mirror and a host of local sources. Which would be fine, if all of those outlets made it absolutely clear that this story was sourced by an insurance company:

Simon Cox, a funeral cost expert at Royal London, said: “Our study shows people are striving to meet funeral price hikes, which they have little control over.

“Given the stressful situation, shopping around for a funeral is often not an option.

“Instead people are coping by cutting back on non-essentials if possible, and reconsidering how loved ones are buried.

While it’s undoubtedly true that funerals are costly affairs, it’s equally true that there’s a clear financial incentive for an insurance company to ensure people are afraid that their loved ones won’t have enough money to pay for their burial once they’re gone. I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to Royal London if they see an increase in interest in their life insurance policies as a result of stories like this. As ever with PR, it’s hard to distinguish the genuine message from the sales hook.

“Vegetarians are secretly eating meat!” says voucher website looking for attention

A third of vegetarians own up to eating meat on nights out

A survey of nearly 2,000 so-called vegetarians finds more than two thirds admit to eating meat on a night out – with one in three doing it every time they get drunk.

A third of vegetarians admit to eating meat every time they get drunk, according to a survey.

Two in five of 1,789 vegetarians questioned owned up to treating themselves to a sneaky kebab after a few drinks.

Source: Independent, 8th October 2015

vouchercodespro-08102015-independent

A third of ‘vegetarians’ eat meat when drunk on a night out

The survey found 69 per cent of so-called veggies said they kept their meat eating a secret from friends and family

A third of so-called vegetarians eat meat when they are under the influence of alcohol, a survey has found.

One in three have also said they eat meat every time they were drunk on a night out with kebab meat and beef burgers being the most common.

Source: Telegraph, 8th Ocotber 2015

vouchercodespro-08102015-telegraph

Those sneaky vegetarians! I knew it all along! Surely this story has to be true, and there can’t possibly be any other explanation for how a ‘finding’ like this could appear in two national newspapers, right?

The survey was conducted by money-saving website Voucher Codes Pro.

George Charles, founder of the website, said: “I know a few ‘vegetarians’ who sometimes crave meat, but it seems that a few are giving into their cravings when drunk.

“I think it’s important for friends of these ‘vegetarians’ to support them when drunk and urge them not to eat meat as I’m sure they regret it the next day.”

In fact, it’s just a case of a discount voucher website trying to do anything to get a mention in the paper, just to remind you they still exist.

“Everything kids do is digital these days!” says bank promoting app for kids

Forget mowing the lawn or cleaning the car – today’s children make their pocket money from digital chores such as setting up their parents’ online DATING profiles

There was a time when extra pocket money meant cleaning the car, dusting the fireplace or being elbow-deep in hot water while standing on a plastic footstool.

But today’s children appear to have found a slightly less arduous way to earn their crust – by carrying out ‘digital chores’.

Research shows tech-savvy youngsters are cashing in on their know-how by helping their parents in the virtual world, including by setting up their online dating profiles and posting their photos on social media.

Source: Daily Mail, 16th September 2015

barclays-16092015-mail

Tech tasks replace household chores as parents pay kids £20 per job

Half of parents have paid a child £20 for a single digital chore as adults tap their kids for their technological nous, Barclays research has found

Giving a child pocket money to buy sweets as a reward for doing household chores is a thing of the past.

Doing the dishes has been replaced with iPod duty, according to research from Barclays, which has released a mobile banking app for 11 to 15-year-olds.

Source: Telegraph, 16th September 2015

barclays-16092015-telegraph

Are parents really abandoning traditional chores and making their kids do new, modern-era digital chores to earn pocket money? Or is this just a transparent attempt by a bank to promote their new ‘move into the digital age’ banking app for kids and their pocket money?

“We are moving into a digital age and hope that the app will help support parents across the country in encouraging their children to take responsibility for their pocket money earnings,” said Barclays’ Luke Christoforidis.

“It will provide them with a tool to confidentially carry out their banking needs with ease and speed via their preferred channel.”

So transparent, even a child could see through it.

“Your future boss is stalking you on Facebook!” says bank and recruitment company

Nine in ten bosses vet applicants on Facebook: Half have reconsidered offering a job after seeing a candidate’s social media accounts

Nine out of ten employers admit they always check social media before hiring applicants, it has been revealed.

Ninety-three per cent use Facebook and Twitter ‘to keep tabs’ on potential candidates and to vet them pre-interview.

But over half (55 per cent) of recruiters have reconsidered appointing someone based on their social profile – with 61 per cent of these U-turns due to ‘negative’ reasons.

Source: Daily Mail, 16th September 2015

jobvite-16092015-mail

You should be careful what you post online these days, as there’s a 90% chance your next employer will Google you at the first available opportunity. While this is almost certainly true, what you might be surprised to learn is that you could lose out on a job opportunity due to the spelling and grammar of your Facebook posts… according to a survey run by a recruitment company:

The findings were revealed by recruiting software company, Jobvite, which surveyed 1,855 human resources managers in industries including engineering, IT, marketing and sales.

If it weren’t enough that a recruitment company is aiming to get its name in the news by commenting on general web trends, the initial survey has been rolled into one by a second company, churning up the PR to add a new hook:

It comes as a separate survey of 2,000 14 to 25-year-olds by Barclay’s LifeSkills initiative found that one in five (22 per cent) admit to posting pictures from nights out.

It’s a genuinely staggering finding that only a fifth of young people share photographs of their nights out on social media (it’s surely far, far higher), but nevertheless the detail matters less than the company behind the story, and Barclays have a clear reason to provoke fear in the millenial minds:

Kirstie Mackey, head of LifeSkills, said: ‘Employers are increasingly using social media to find out more about prospective candidates prior to meeting and making their hiring decisions.

‘In a competitive job market, it’s important to present yourself in the best possible way – both on and offline.

Which, presumably, is precisely the advice-niche Barclays are trying to fill – knowing that most people never change their bank account. Secure customer loyalty early on in their career and you might well have a customer for life.

“Planes are filthy!” says headline-grabbing travel website

The dirtiest part of plane? It’s right in front of you

Tray trables by far trump toilets in the aeroplane germ league tables, according to a new study

The dirtiest part of a plane is not the toilet but right in front of your seat, according to new research.

An evaluation of germs per square inch on different surfaces in airports and on planes found that the average tray table harbours nearly 20 times more bacteria than the aircraft toilet flush.

Source: Telegraph, 9th September 2015

travelmath-09092015-telegraph

It seems that planes are so filthy that not only did the Telegraph report on this story, but the Daily Mail reported on it twice (on September 3rd and September 5th) and coverage also appeared on CNN, The Atlantic, the LA Times, ABC News and many, many more outlets beside. Clearly, some company hit PR paydirt with this story – but which company?

Travelmath.com , a travel website, sent a microbiologist to take samples from five different airports and four flights to establish which is the grubbiest part of a plane.

The story came from a travel website, who even created an infographic (now there’s a whole area of PR I’ll get into some time) which featured in both Daily Mail stories.

It might seem counterintuitive for a travel company to seemingly seek to put people off flying, but the sheer volume of column inches and news outlets the story secured demonstrates just how effective even apparently-negative stories can be – getting those headlines is all that matters, especially when both Daily Mail articles and the Telegraph coverage all included links to the companies website. Paying for that kind of advertising reach costs far, far more than it takes to put together a quick piece of badpr.

“Men need teddy bears to sleep!” says bed company

Rise of the teddy boys! The grown men who won’t sleep without stuffed toys beside them (and their girlfriends don’t mind)

Cuddling up to a teddy bear is usual practise for small children and toddlers but increasing numbers of grown men are confessing to sleeping with a cuddly toy.

Half of men still have a teddy bear, compared with 39 per cent of women and a quarter take their much-loved stuffed toy to bed at night, according to research commissioned by Time4Sleep.

Here three grown men tell FEMAIL why they’re not ashamed to take their teddies to bed with them – and their girlfriends.

Source: Daily Mail, 11th September 2015

time4sleep-11092015-mail

Is it OK for grown men to still own cuddly toys?

As a survey reveals that 28 per cent of adult men still sleep with a stuffed animal, Jonathan Wells asks why some men just can’t bear to part with their teddies

Stuffed animals and cuddly toys are almost synonymous with a feeling of safety. At a young age, teddy bears and all manner of other such plush characters are thrust upon us and we create bonds with them that we feel shall last forever. And whilst the majority of adults eventually put Fluffy the bear and Mr Cuddles into storage it would appear that, for some of us, those childhood bonds are just too hard to break.

Source: Telegraph, 16th September 2015

time4sleep-11092015-telegraph

What’s the story here: are we seeing an epidemic of man-child proportions, with men around the country clinging onto their childhoods and their bedtime stuffed companion? Or are we seeing an orchestrated PR campaign from a bed retailer?

Online bed retailers Time4Sleep recently conducted an extensive survey and discovered that not only do 51 per cent of adult men still own their childhood cuddly toy, 28 pc of us still spend every night sleeping alongside them.

Was it ever in doubt?

“Your partner is hiding their debts from you!” says credit rating company

Do YOU know much your spouse earns? Half of married couples don’t know – and less than two-thirds discuss finances

Married couples may have agreed to share their lives – but it seems they are a bit more reluctant to share their bank statements.

A survey has found that almost half of married people do not know what their spouse earns.

And a secretive further third only divulge details of their finances to their partner on a ‘need to know’ basis.

Source: Daily Mail, 3rd September 2015

noddle-03092015-mail

Debt news now, and the ‘finding’ that we have no clue about our partners’ finances is a story that got plenty of play – not just in the Daily Mail, but also in the Metro and in two separate stories in the Telegraph: “How well do you really know your partner?” (3rd September 2015) and “How long should you wait before asking a date’s salary?” (3rd September 2015).

Clearly it’s a story that tapped into a nerve – which will no doubt please the company with the vested interest in making you suspicious about what debts your partner might have, who just happened to create this finding:

The study, by credit rating agency Noddle, also asked about finances at the beginning of a relationship, finding that more than a quarter of single men and women said that they would break up with a new partner if they found out they were in a lot of debt.

Noddle are the kind of company that can tell you if your partner has any debts, so it’s hardly going against their commercial interests to plant into the minds of readers that debt would be a good reason to end a relationship – despite, it’s worth pointing out, the overwhelming majority of people (75%) disagreeing with that particular hook line. As ever, with Bad PR surveys, the numbers do not matter, they’re simply the delivery mechanism for the message. As is the obligatory spokesperson quote:

Jacqueline Dewey, of Noddle, said: ‘Our research shows that as a nation we still shy away from talking about money, even with our spouse or partner.

‘Whilst it may seem tempting to keep this information to yourself, it can have a detrimental impact on your financial decisions and, ultimately, your relationship.

‘Knowing about your financial health – and that of anyone you are financially involved with – is crucial whether you’re applying for a credit card, getting a mortgage or looking for the best deals on utilities or mobile phones.

‘That’s why we’re calling for consumers to have full financial disclosure with their other halves.’

Yes, Jacqueline, you want people to understand their finances for the good of their relationship – not, say, because it will result in more business for Noddle.

“People don’t think enough about growing old!” says life insurance provider

Young do not feel grown up until 29, survey shows

Living at home longer, playing computer games and watching children’s films among most common reasons for young people not feeling like adults

Britons do not believe they have become a “grown-up” until they reach the age of 29, it has been revealed.

Despite becoming an adult at the age of 18, the average young person believes it is another 11 years until they are actually an adult.

Source: Telegraph, 3rd September 2015

beaglestreet-03092015-telegraph

The average Brit doesn’t feel like a grown-up until they’re 29, study finds

Ever still feel like you’re an 8-year-old with each passing birthday? Well new research has revealed that despite technically becoming an adult at 18, the average Brit does not feel like they have become a ‘grown-up’ until they reach the age of 29.

The study cites ‘living at home longer, playing computer games, watching children’s movies and a reluctance to settle for a “real job”’ as some of the most common reasons for not feeling like an adult, though speculatively I would add to that increasing life spans and the general death of adulthood in culture.

Source: Independent, 2nd September 2015

beaglestreet-03092015-telegraph beaglestreet-03092015-independent

Apparently we don’t feel like proper adults until the age of 29

You might be allowed to drink, drive, vote and all that jazz at 18, but a new study says Brits don’t really feel like proper grown-ups until we hit 29.

The research carried out by Beagle Street life insurance shows that we’re all basically big kids at heart, still watching cartoons and children’s films.

Well, let’s be honest, Frozen is amazing.

Other factors that are preventing us from letting go of our adolescence include refusing to settle for ‘a real job’, whatever that is, and living at home longer.

Source: Metro, 3rd September 2015

beaglestreet-03092015-metro

Today’s generation is late to grow up, reluctant to look ahead to the future, incapable of planning – according to a survey by a life insurance company:

Matthew Gledhill, managing director of Beagle Street, said: “The research shows that growing up is less about years and more about reaching milestones in life like getting married, becoming a parent or buying a home.

“With each of these life events there is a need to take responsibility and a need to become an adult as you have people depending on you to do so.”

He added: “Whether it’s before or after the age of 29, when people do get on the property ladder or start a family it is important that they are protected and we have used technology to remove unnecessary complication and unnecessary cost so it is really easy to get great value life insurance to do just that.”

So while the article looks like a report on what age we truly grow up, it’s actually an attempt to highlight to people that they should take more responsibility – by which we mean buy whatever Beagle Street insurance is selling.

“Aren’t burgers scientifically great?” says supermarket chain’s burger promotion

 

The news was ablaze last week with talk of the scientifically-perfect burger, although what else can you expect on ‘National Burger Day’?

How to make the perfect burger: Oxford food scientist claims to have answer

Oxford University chef says perfect burger is 7cm tall, should be eaten to music, given a name and should feel as good as it tastes.

A leading food scientist claims to have created the perfect burger – and says that its smell and feel are more important than the taste.

The best burgers are 7cm tall, 5cm wide and boast nine layers, according to Oxford University chef and food perception expert Charles Michel.

Source: Telegraph, 26th August 2015

asda-26082015-telegraph

A 7cm wide patty, crunchy lettuce and a warm bun… eaten with your hands: Chef reveals formula for the perfect burger (and how it SOUNDS is as important as the taste)

Making a delicious burger may seem as simple as whacking a beef patty between two sesame seed buns and finishing adding a slice of iceberg lettuce – but scientists are now begging to disagree.

According to new research commissioned by Asda, a great hamburger should stimulate all the senses including sound and feel.

Chef and flavour researcher, Charles Michel, said that the sensation of the burger in our hands and the crunch of the lettuce all add to the overall experience.

Source: Daily Mail, 26th August 2015

asda-26082015-mail

National Burger Day 2015: What does your perfect burger look like?

In a now annual tradition, today we gather together, slap meat into a sliced piece of bread, and stick it in our mouths. Here are the burgers we dreamt of waking up to, on National Burger Day morning — and our pick of our favourite real ones.

Source: Independent, 27th August 2015

asda-26082015-independent

This is how to make the ‘perfect’ burger for National Burger Day

It’s National Burger Day tomorrow and we’re already salivating in anticipation of perhaps the greatest food day of the year.

But where to go for the perfect burger?

According to chef Charles Michel, your best bet is to stay at home – and cook up his ‘perfect’ burger.

Michel is the chef in residence at Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, where they analyse how our senses work.

He has conducted some Very Important research in labs for Asda to prove scientifically what makes the perfect burger, from the individual ingredients to the entire eating experience.

Source: Metro, 26th August 2015

asda-26082015-metro

Who’d have thought there was a scientist out there independently undertaking such important research as figuring out what the perfect burger consists of? And at Oxford University, no less! What a time to be alive… except, of course, that this was not legitimate research, and was by no means independently-derived:

Mr Michel’s work was commissioned by supermarket Asda to celebrate National Burger Day on Thursday.

No, indeed, this was merely a case of Charles Michel being employed to lend his name to a promotion by a supermarket chain. We can even see the full press release on the Asda website, including the infographic featured in the Telegraph and Daily Mail.

asda-26082015-site

In case you’re wondering what Asda’s angle is in this, the obligatory spokesperson quote makes everything clear:

Asda’s beef buyer Neil Moorcroft said: “Burgers have come a long way from a humble beef patty in a bun to a great British favourite and gastronomic dish.

“Wagyu burgers are full of flavour, texture and have a decent amount of fat to carry burger smells to our nostrils. It’s important to us to support food innovation and offer customers something new.

“We want people to listen to the sounds and appreciate all of their senses when biting into their perfect burgers this National Burger Day.”

As for the scientist, I’m not sure Oxford University would relish their name being bandied around quite so cheaply. Yes, relish.