Tag Archives: deni kirkova

“Wedding guests give rubbish presents!” says gift card company

Are you a marriage miser? Nearly half of guests give newlyweds belongings from their own HOME rather than buy a gift

As the wedding season draws to a close, research reveals how thoughtless and stingy British guests can be.

A cheeky 41 per cent of Britons have repurposed something from their own home to give it as a gift to the happy couple, while one in five have signed their name on another guest’s gift.

One in 10 have even lied to the newlyweds by telling them their gift is on its way, when in fact they haven’t even bought it.

Source: Daily Mail, 4th September 2015


Britain is a nation or horrendous regifters, who use weddings as an excuse to pass along old tat they no longer want. Of course, that’s only the headline finding, it’s not the real hook for the company behind this ‘research’. Things start to get a little clearer in the next paragraph:

And it’s not just what to buy that’s keeping Brits awake at night – but how much to spend, according to the survey of 1,536 adults.

A tenth of respondents admit that they overspend in an attempt to not look cheap, with £32 being the minimum the average person can spend without looking like a skinflint.

So it’s not so much a case of people being too stingy to buy something nice, but it’s more that we all get so stressed trying to figure out what to buy. Enter, stage left, the company behind the PR:

Aoife Davey, group marketing manager at One4all, the Post Office Gift Card, which commissioned the research, said: ‘It’s interesting to see the extent to which selecting and buying a gift can stress people out – and also quite alarming how many people have resorted to quite cheeky tactics when the panic has set in.

‘It’s also clear that British adults prefer to go down the traditional route of selecting a gift for the happy couple themselves, rather than being dictated to by something like a wedding list, and that traditional types of gifts – such as homeware and useful appliances – are still the preferred to choice of many guests.’

And if you’re getting stressed out about what gift to buy, perhaps you should head on over to Aoife’s employer, a gift voucher company, to take away all of your gifting troubles. As a blogger who is less than a week away from getting married, I expect Post Office gift vouchers from every one of my Bad PR readers…

“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


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.

“Men would rather watch football than have sex!” says condom manufacturer

Not tonight darling, the World Cup is on! 40% of men would turn down sex to watch football

Women across the country are preparing for a summer of boyfriends and husbands glued to the television as the World Cup begins.

And it seems the girls really will be getting even less attention than expected as two in five men admit they would actually turn down sex to watch the football.

According to a new study even if they do get intimate with their partners, 42 per cent of men admit they will try to ‘get it over with quickly’ in order to watch an important game.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th June 2014


With the World Cup well and truly underway, the nation’s men have no interest at all in sex, what with there being football to watch. And those who are still having sex are doing so with the hurried recklessness of whichever footballer last did something a bit rubbish during a game (I’m actually writing this story a week ago, and topicality is a challenge, so let’s pretend I’d written an actual name here).

Still, is this genuine, legitimate research, or something a little empty and vacuous to distract us from the times when there’s not currently a match on TV? Well, let’s look at the signs:

The poll of 2,000 men from 72 Point…

Well, that’s not an ideal sign – not just the poor wording of the paragraph opener, making it seem like the poll involved two thousand employees of a PR company, but also the particular PR company involved. 72 Point are part of SWNS Media group, who also own One Poll – no strangers on this Bad PR blog. So let’s just say it’s reality 0, PR bullshit 1 there.

The poll of 2,000 men from 72 Point was commissioned by Durex…

In with the commercial paymaster, now, and it’s clearly a cause for bias – the condom manufacturer having a clear impetus (I said impetus) to lay down a challenge to the masculinity of the nation. PR goes two-nil up on reality.

The poll of 2,000 men from 72 Point was commissioned by Durex to highlight how a summer of football will affect the nation’s love life with their #DontFakeIt campaign.

Ah, we have a bullshit hashtag campaign, and that’s the hat-trick for PR. Remarkable stuff.

“Dads are really only good for doing odd jobs and things!” says DIY supplier

Dads do our DIY until we’re middle-aged! Britons rely on fathers to do odd jobs around the house until they’re 41

Despite having homes and a families of their own, millions of British adults still turn to their fathers for DIY help instead of doing it themselves or paying a professional.

More than eight in ten admitted their father is always the first person they call whenever they have a job they need help with because ‘they would struggle to do it themselves’.

And the grand age of 41 is when Britons finally stop relying on his help around the house, says a new study.

Source: Daily Mail, 11th June 2014


Announced a few days before Father’s Day, we recently learnt that we’re more reliant than ever on dad’s help in completing basic DIY tasks. As ever with Bad PR, the truth of the matter is of secondary concern – first and foremost is the importance of getting into the press the brand name of the company who paid for this ‘research’:

A spokesperson for sugru, a brand of self-setting rubber, who commissioned the research, said: ‘Most parents look forward to the day their children move out as it marks the end of having to look after them.

‘But these results show that dads can be expecting pleas for help until their child reaches their forties, even when they have their own partner or family.’

“Women over 40 buy sex toys!” says sex toy website

The rise of the naughty forties: More 40-plus women than ever buying risqué lingerie, erotic toys and accessories

Women aged 40 and over are spending more money than ever on risque lingerie and erotic accessories, say sales statistics from lingerie companies.

They’re spending a small fortune on lingerie and sex toys – more than double the amount women in their 20s spend, according to lingerie and erotic accessory boutique Petits Bisous.

Over the last three months, the company has seen a 50 per cent rise in customers over 40 years old.

Source: Daily Mail, 9th June 2014


Women in their 40 are spending a small fortune on sex toys and lingerie, according to this latest research – research from an entirely-neutral source, no less:

The findings reflect new major research from sex toy firm Lovehoney, who report that women approaching 40 have higher libidos than girls in their 20s.

They polled 2,100 men and women ranging in age from 18 to over 65 to find out how happy people are with their sex lives, how often they have sex and how libido is affected by age.

It found that women with the highest sex drives are aged between 35 and 44.

Perhaps those 35-44 year old women need to go out and buy a new vibrator, eh Lovehoney?

“Buying things for a hen do can be expensive!” says department store

Extravagant hen dos now cost guests so much they rival the amount spent on attending the actual wedding!

There was a time when a hen do consisted of a good old knees up down the local pub, maybe withe a few naughty, novelty straws thrown in and an L plate to be worn by the bride-to-be.

But now the average cost of attending a hen do has spiralled to hundreds of pounds per guest and fancy parties can involve anything from a mini stay-cation or even a full-blown holiday, leaving attendees seriously out of pocket.

The average cost of attending a hen do abroad is almost £700 and for those held at home in Britain just short of £200 per person – yet going to the big day itself can cost them a fraction of the price, says a new survey.

Source: Daily Mail, 5th June 2014


The humble hen do – or the ‘bachelorette party’, for those of an American persuasion – has escalated over the last few years, as women keep up with their increasingly-lavish male equivalents.

Gone are the days of a simple night out on the tiles, now it’s commonplace to see large parties of women staggering around a weekend city break adorned with inflatable peni, pink tutus and black T shirts emblazoned with lurid pink innuendous slogans. A ‘slag do’, if you will.

And, despite the average goings-on during a hen do or stag do being remarkably cheap, the actual cost of attendance is anything but – according to this ‘research’, of course.

That the ‘research’ was commissioned by a department store is neither here nor there – as Debenhams’ spokesperson clarifies:

A personal stylist at Debenhams, who commissioned the research said: ‘We have seen a steady increase in enquiries from customers wanting help purchasing new outfits for hen parties, weekends and trips abroad.

‘Often the group of invited women may not all have seen each other for a few years and it is natural that they want to look their best.

‘Planning and shopping ahead is the key to getting the most for your money.’

No incentive from Debenhams to come up with a story like this at all, then. Next we’ll be hearing that Debenhams are launching their own ‘Kinky Kaytee’ or ‘Knickerless Naomi’ T Shirt range…

“You should try harder to watch your weight, ladies!” says plastic surgeon

We’re NOT all going on a summer holiday: More than half of British women hate their bikini body so much they’d rather stay home.

A fortnight of juice fasting ahead of jetting off on a summer holiday is a tradition of sorts for many British women who are unhappy with the state of their bodies in their current state.

And more than half (53 per cent) admit they hate the sight of themselves in a swimsuit so much that they would rather miss out on a sunshine break than strip off.

Three in five (60 per cent) British women say they refuse to be photographed in their holiday wardrobes.

Source: Daily Mail, 1 June 2014


It’s not just the prospect of wearing a bikini that terrifies women – they are ashamed by their body in all manner of situations… each of which is very clearly outlined and highlighted in this press-release-based article, just to hammer home the message. No surprises, then, to see who the message is from:

Harley Street clinic LoveLite, who specialise in fat-freezing treatment Lipoglaze, commissioned the research.

A spokesperson said: ‘What a shame that so many British women are missing out on amazing holidays because of their body anxiety.’

You’re right, that is a shame. But it’s much, much more of a shame that, rather than help diffuse physique paranoia, instead there are companies out there ramping-up that anxiety in order to boost interest in their surgical solutions.

“Men: A nice gift will win her heart! (Girls: You should use sex!)” says gift website

While British men use flowers to win back an ex British women prefer to use SEX

More than half of people in the UK have attempted to win back a former partner by buying them a gift of some sort.

And nearly two thirds of those (62 per cent) said it worked a treat in rekindling a romantic relationship.

It’s mostly men who prefer to use this tactic, with 41 per cent of those polled choosing the gift of flowers. Three-quarters of women, on the other hand, have ditched the idea of a gift and instead used sex in an attempt to get back with their ex partner.

Source: Daily Mail, 29 May 2014

"Men: A nice gift will win her heart! (Girls: You should use sex!)" says gift website

The message here is clear: if you’re trying to win back the love of your life, men need to be sure to buy presents, whereas women need to remember that that’s what sex (or, rather, SEX) is for.

That’s quite a nest of ugly gender stereotyping and expectations to unpick, and we’re barely past paragraph three. Suffice it to say, men are much more than walking wallets, and women have much more to offer to the world than simply being sex objects. Moving on…

Researchers polled a total of 1,927 people, aged 18 and over, split evenly between the sexes.

All participants taking part in the research by findmeagift.co.uk had admitted to having previous long-term relationships and then subsequently attempted to win their ex-partners back.

The motivation for convincing people (primarily men, in this case) that the right gift can win back the love of your life is clear – the story was paid for by gift ideas website ‘findmeagift.co.uk’, with the URL right there in the page.


Interestingly, the link to the gift website is active within the Mail page, but upon inspection it’s clear the link doesn’t take you directly to the gift site. Instead, the full link looks like this:


In fact, clicking the link (please don’t – my click was enough) takes you first momentarily to another site, before redirecting to the gift-finding site. Here is the address of the intermediary site (click to expand):


The site momentarily linked to is an affiliate marketing site called Affiliate Future, which records the source of traffic to a website and rewards that source with a cut of the profit made from the traffic directed to the final website.


So, has the Daily Mail moved beyond simply printing press releases as news to actually profiting as an affiliate marketer? What is certain is that the Mail’s website is signed up to a service called Skimlinks – a program which replaces text mentions of certain listed sites with a profit-making affiliate replacement link. It is this site – commonly used by large publishers such as the Mail, Telegraph and Huffington Post – which included the affiliate link, and which the Mail then makes a profit from.

Ordinarily, websites will profit from each organic mention in the news of a particular vendor’s website – the ethics of which you’re free to judge for yourselves.

However, this article clearly wasn’t an ‘organic’ mention – it was almost certaionly a PR-led reprint of a press release, designed at publishing the web address of findmeagift.co.uk in the mainstream press. This wasn’t news. In fact, had the Daily Mail not made the decision to publish this glorified advert, the website would never have gotten a mention, and the Daily Mail would never have made their profit from the link.

Even though the numbers involved are small, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a clear subversion of the purpose of a newspaper: the Daily Mail clearly printed PR content for a direct financial gain. Whether done knowingly or unknowingly, it’s both fascinating and damning in equal measure.

“Christmas shopping gets pretty busy!” says price comparison website

“Christmas shopping gets pretty busy!” says price comparison website

“People buy gifts online!” says online make-up firm ahead of Christmas

“People buy gifts online!” says online make-up firm ahead of Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner, and with it the culmination of weeks and months of dedicated, efficient and/or frenzied consumerism.

Of course, the savvy shopper knows that the biggest bang for your buck can be achieved by a little web know-how, hence the introduction of the made-up term ‘showrooming’ – invented to describe the art of buying online what you’ve seen in the stores, but primarily invented by PR people to secure attention for their particular client:

A spokesperson for Escentual.com who commissioned the survey, said: ‘It’s hardly surprising that showrooming for Christmas has become so popular when shoppers are finding that it saves them nearly 20 per cent on their bill.

If you were under any illusions as to why Escentual want to stress the importance of shopping online, their spokesperson happily clarifies for you:

‘The women in our survey said they would save £78 on an average Christmas shop of £331, and they said beauty products and fragrances was one of the areas where they would find a better deal online.’

You see, it isn’t just the savvy shopper who can harness the power of the internet.