Tag Archives: sarah griffiths

“Some drivers are better than others!” says tyre firm

Think you’re a good driver? Take this psychological test to find out if you’re a ‘punisher’, an ‘escapee’ or a know-it-all

Whether you shout and swear at bad drivers who cut you up or are blissfully unaware of the road wars happening around you, people cope with rush-hour driving in different ways.

Now a group of psychologists has identified seven ways in which people respond on the road and have created an interactive quiz based on its research.

Personalities range from ‘the competitor’ for whom life is a race to ‘the punisher’ who takes it upon themselves to get even with bad drivers.

Source: Daily Mail, 8th September 2015


What kind of driver are you? This latest piece of research suggest you fall into one of seven categories, although this research falls into a certain category itself – PR for a tyre manufacturer:

The study was carried out by experts at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) with tyre manufacturer Goodyear.

That said, the involvement of LSE is interesting, as it’s their story which gets the write-up in the newspapers:


Where does this fall on the Bad PR spectrum? It’s a tough question. On the one hand, the involvement of LSE and Dr Chris Tennant may suggest there’s more to the science and legitimacy of this research than we see in the majority of Bad PR stories.

On the other hand, it’s not unusual for these science-led PR stories to involve very little science, instead using the reputation of a professional body or organisation to hide the fact that this article is little more than an advert for Goodyear.

In fact, even when the science is legitimate, the involvement of PR can taint it and leave it essentially worthless. It’s why, in my opinion, professional scientists and research bodies ought to stay well away from PR, if they want to keep their reputation beyond reproach.

“Mobile phones are now integral parts of your love life!” says mobile company

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done while dating? Given the often misanthropic demographic of this blog, I genuinely dread to think what just passed through your minds. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Still, whatever horrible misdeed you just thought up, it almost certainly wasn’t featured on the latest list of Do’s and Dont’s to make the Mail:

Which dating mistakes do YOU make? From using the word LOL to sending too many kisses, study reveals biggest tech turn offs

Using the wrong amount of kisses in a text message has been revealed as the top turn off in romantic phone etiquette.

Whether it’s a new romance or a long-term relationship, sending fewer kisses in a text than a partner is considered impolite and a brush off.

Answering the phone at dinner, and having it switched on in the cinema were also included in the list, alongside texting after 11pm, resending the same text if no response is received, and emailing pointless small talk.

Source: Daily Mail, 20th June 2014


It transpires, according to a biased and very selective poll, that all of the worst dating faux pas involve your humble Nokia-successor:

The study, compiled by TalkTalk Mobile, found that over half of British men believe it is acceptable to end a relationship over text, whereas 62 per cent of women think that only face-to-face break ups are acceptable.

With a mobile phone company finding that mobile phones play such an important part in the goods and bads of dating, we have to be thankful there’s an etiquette expert on hand to offer a trite and media-friendly soundbite:

Dan Meader of TalkTalk Mobile, told MailOnline: ‘[Our] work with Debretts means that we’re able to go one step further towards helping out Britain’s daters mind their manners.’

Jo Bryant, etiquette expert at Debretts, added: ‘Mobile phones allow us to communicate instantly, with ease and spontaneity, but as the TalkTalk Mobile survey results show, consideration for others is essential for good mobile phone manners.’

Hardly the most subtle PR story of all time. Talk about phoning it in.

“Pets can cause a lot of expensive damage!” says insurance price comparison website

Chihuahuas do more damage than any other breed of dog – and if you want a quiet life you should get a Staffie

The chihuahua may be one of the smallest dog breeds but its appetite for destruction is larger than any other, a study has revealed.

Over its lifetime, the tiny terrors will cause an average of £865 worth of damage by ripping or staining carpets, scratching or chewing sofas and digging up plants and flowerbeds.

In contrast, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, which are perceived as fierce by many people, make the best pets as they cause the least amount of damage, costing around £178 in total.

Source: Daily Mail, 13th June 2014


Owning a pet is an expensive business, with even the smallest and most innocuous of animals capable of causing huge amounts of damage. With such high stakes at play, it’s important to make sure you have adequate insurance – perhaps using a price comparison website:

‘Chihuahuas may be tiny but it seems they will leave you with a bigger bill than any other dog,’ a spokesman for Sussex-based financial comparison site PayingTooMuch.com, said.

‘All pet owners expect a little damage from their dog from time to time, but when you add up the total amount spent on cleaning, repairing and replacing, it can be a huge amount.

‘Add to that extra costs from damage caused to other people’s property and bills if your pet is involved in an accident, and you can expect to part with a large amount of money.’

“People look for love online!” says online dating site

How to get a date: the words that attract the opposite sex online

Single women looking for love online should describe themselves as sweet, ambitious or thoughtful while men should emphaisis their passion, optimism and phsyical fitness, according to a new study.

Research on more than 12,000 profiles on a dating website has revealed the best words to use when trying to attract the opposite sex.

The data showed that women describing themselves as sweet, ambitious or thoughtful were more likely to see men initiate conversations with them.

Source: Telegraph, 16 May 2014

Sweet female WLTM ambitious male: Scientists reveal the most alluring words to entice a hot date online

Some people claim that French is romantic, but scientists claim to have identified the real language of love for online dating profiles.

The words that daters use to describe themselves in their online dating profiles can have a huge impact on attracting attention from the opposite sex, they said.

Source: Daily Mail, 16 May 2014

There we have it – the answer to your dating woes: simply describe yourself using a generic set of desirable words which may or may not have anything to do with your actual personality. Science!

With all this scientific analysis knocking around the dating arena, it’s a surprise that anyone’s still single. Who can we thank for this remarkable breakthrough? Which prestigious institute of human studies made the astounding discovery? You may not be surprised to learn it was those altruistic and cupid-like boffins over at eHarmony… the dating site:

Source: eHarmony.co.uk, 16 May 2014

Cynics might argue that eHarmony released this particular piece of PR research not for the good of mankind, but instead to push the sciencey credentials of their own dating algorithms, and to remind potential punters that they exist. But not me – I’m positive they did it because they’re hopeless romantics.

“Smartphones are bad for your back!” says back specialist, launching new app

As I sit here, hunched over my laptop, churning out blog after blog exposing the sheer volume of PR nonsense in the UK press, one thought strikes me often: “Thank god I’m not attempting this on a tablet or iPad”. That’s because I know just how bad flat touchscreens can be for your spinal health:

iPosture backache rockets among the young

A BACKACHE epidemic hitting young adults who hunch over their smartphones and tablet computers has sparked a new medical term — “iPosture”.

Workers aged 18 to 24 risk agony. They already take 1½ days more off sick with back.

Source: The Sun “+”, 1st October 2013

Do you suffer from iPosture? Tablets and smartphones are causing an epidemic of back pain as people hunch over devices

It sounds like the latest gadget from Apple. But ‘iPosture’ is being blamed for an alarming level of back pain among 18 to 24-year-olds.

The term is being used to describe the stooped body shape adopted by those texting, emailing or playing games on their iPad or smartphone.

Source: Daily Mail, 1st October 2013

Christ, an epidemic? And all related unequivocally to smartphone and tablet use? How did we not find out about this sooner? Why didn’t our parents warn us about it? How could we be so blind?!

Or, alternatively, is this definitely, definitely true? 

Some 84 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 admitted to having suffered back pain in the past year, in a survey by the healthcare provider Simplyhealth. 

So, it’s self-reported outcomes rather than clinical data or patient data? Hardly the most reliable way to track and diagnose an ‘epidemic’.Still, a healthcare provider wouldn’t have any motivation to make anything like this up, targeting smartphone and tablet users specifically, surely? Well, that’s something that becomes clearer upon examining the original press release:

The results were published in association with the newly launched Simplyhealth BackCare App, following a study carried out among 3,000 adults.

Taking note of the fact that the survey was carried out by Bad PR regulars OnePoll – hardly the most credible source of health information for the general public – it transpires that SimplyHealth are launching their own app to help promote better back care when using smartphones. 

A final footnote: putting the original press release through Churnalism.com, it appears rather than being the work of prolific writer ‘Daily Mail Journalist’, it may well have been Sarah Griffiths who penned this piece. And by ‘penned this piece’ I mean ‘took 89% of a press release and added 11% of house style in the edit process’.

On the plus side, at least Sarah can’t have spent long hunched over her keyboard putting this piece together.