Posts Tagged sex

Bad News: If Only The Sun Knew What ‘Hypocrisy’ Meant…

Occasionally, my searches for Bad PR / Bad News (rebranding, here!) take me places I wouldn’t otherwise go. Like, for example, to The Sun website, where I was alerted by @cathyby and @DrPetra to this odious piece of PR bullshit:

You’re the affair-er sex, girls!

WOMEN are now more likely to cheat than men, a survey reveals.One in five said they would “definitely” have an affair if they fell for another bloke.

In contrast, just nine per cent of fellas were certain they would betray their partner.

The study of 3,000 people has for the first time exposed girls as the bigger love rats.

Wildly-misogynistic with an undercurrent designed to promote the kind of sexual mistrust which can really damage a relationship? I’m sure I read something similar in the not-too-distant past… oh, yes, that’s right, in The Sun:

One in 10 trick dads

One in ten mums TRICKED their fella into getting them pregnant, a survey revealed yesterday.

Top ruses were lying about being on the pill or just not mentioning contraception.

A quarter of those who duped their man said he ‘would have given in one day anyway’, the survey of 3000 mums found.

But half said they were not even bothered if the father stuck around.

Back then it was a poll by my favourite bullshit-mining marketing team OnePoll on behalf of misguided parenting club Bounty, and caused some genuine controversy, more of which you can read here. Although I’ve not seen anything which confirms this, I’d say the angle and the structure of the story strongly reeks of OnePoll again, but that is of course just conjecture. So, back to this latest worthless PR guff (because I’m going somewhere with this) Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad PR: Misogyny on the Bounty

As readers of this site will probably know, I have a bit of a beef when it comes to bullshit PR companies spouting Bad PR, and in particular with a company by the name of

OnePoll is an interesting beast – is business model is to pay people around 10p for their participation in a relatively quick online survey, with the idea being that the more surveys you take part in, the more you earn. The upshot of this means the quicker you complete the survey, the faster you can move on to the next one. It also means that when you’re asked a screening question like ‘Are you single or in a relationship?‘, and you can see the name of the survey is ‘Being In Relationships!‘, it’s pretty easy to see that to enter the survey and claim your shiny 10p, you obviously pretend to be in a relationship. Or pretend to be a football fan. Or pretend to be self-employed. Etc. For the sake of your 10p, you enter a load of results which become utterly meaningless.

The speed issue has a knock-on effect elsewhere, too. As I’ve pointed out before, when asked a badly designed question like ‘Which celebrity would you least like to go on holiday with?‘ where the possible responses are from a set list, rather than stopping to think, ‘Actually, I don’t care about any of these people, I’d like to tick the none of the above option, but there isn’t one‘, instead you pick a choice fairly-randomly, fairly-quickly and progress on towards your 10p, and so we get this in the newspapers: Cheryl Cole is celebrity most Brits want to holiday with unlike Katie Price.  I can imagine the most significant factor in these types of questions is often the order the options are presented, rather than their actual content, with a bias towards the options that appear first in the list (that would be my prediction, anyway).

What’s more, to get you started, when you first sign up to One Poll you get something in the region of £2, too – so it feels like a breeze to start really earning. Here’s the kicker though, and of course there is one – before you see a penny of your earnings, you need to accrue £40. At 10p per survey, that’s 400 surveys. I’ve been playing for about months now, and I’m on about £17. So, I can imagine there would be a pretty reasonable fallout rate as people became disillusioned with the process and give up, and thus often OnePoll never have to pay a penny to most of the people they survey. Which makes their business model pretty cheap, then.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad PR: Marriages Go Stale After A Decade!

Bad news for married couples today, as researchers have shown that marriages go stale after 10 years 11 months? From the Mail (amongst others):

Couples may feel relieved to make it past the ‘seven-year itch’ without marital strife.

But it seems their problems may only just be starting.

Married couples begin to grow bored with each other after ten years and 11 months, according to researchers.

Researchers indeed, but who funded the survey? Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad PR: The Adulterated Truth

Getting a PR-fluff-piece into the news is easy, as I’ve shown before – take a survey, manufacture a surprising result (through data-mining, biased sampling or leading questions), and push it out with a shocking headline and a sexy angle. Easy. Here’s the first three paragraphs from an example in the Daily Express, print edition, the other week:

“One in five women would forgive their man for a one-night stand as long as it meant nothing to them.

The figures emerged in a report which also revealed that eight out of 10 Britons couldn’t care less if their partner became involved with someone else, as long as they didn’t have sex.

Despite nine out of 10 women claiming they would dump a man who had regular sex with someone else, millions would forgive indiscretions over the phone or by text, although half of girls still say they would show their partner the door if he kissed another woman.” – Source: Daily Express, 29/09/2010

Prime example, then – sexy angle, backed up with a nice, traditional ‘men cheat, ladies – deal with it’ undertone more in keeping with an episode of the Sopranos than with what most of us would experience in our lives, I’d imagine. On top of that, we have a flurry of statistics, including the up-scaled extrapolation of what ‘millions’ believe, based on the sample data. You’ve five seconds to guess what company appears in the next paragraph, having commissioned the survey. It’s a classic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad PR: How NOT To Play The Sex Card

By now, followers of Bad PR should be well-acquainted with the tell-tale signs for spotting nonsense PR strong-arming it’s way into the pages of our most-loved newspapers and websites. And by most-loved, I tend to mean The Mail, The Sun, The Telegraph and all of the other bastions of bullshit we skeptics force ourselves to sift through on a near-daily basis, ever on the hunt for untruth. So it’s a fairly loose use of the word ‘loved’, if you’ll grant me it. Still, as I’ve covered before, sometimes spotting poorly-designed pseudo-news it’s as easy as following a simple checklist:

  • Does it involve a survey?
  • Are the results surprising, shocking or a bit sexy?
  • Is it actively about sex – predominately how to get more of it, or how to make what little you get of it better?
  • Is there a company name in the fourth paragraph?

Those are some pretty simple, rule-of-thumb guidelines for spotting Bad PR. Now, here’s your starter for 10, from the Daily Star (I won’t give you the link just yet, it’ll spoil the fun):


Right away, that’s one or two ticks on our checklist. Let’s take this paragraph by paragraph Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad PR: Schrödinger’s Cock!

It’s official: TOP Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has the largest penis in show business, according to British women.

No you heard me right – I said he HAS the largest penis in showbusiness, not that he IS the largest penis in showbusiness. As reported in multiple sources last week, including our old friend The Sun:

A survey carried out among 4,000 housewives revealed a large portion of them think Clarkson is the proud owner of a ten-and-a-quarter inch penis.

Unsurprisingly, of course, The Sun went with the headline ‘Clarkson in Poll Pole Position‘. See what they did there? That’s called journalism. Or something.

Apparently, according to this definitely-scientific survey of random women (and I love the specific implication that they were housewives – more of that later), the Top Gear hosting, Daily Mail writing, right wing caricature Clarkson is in possession of a ten and a quarter inch effort, downstairs, with Gordon Ramsey closely following behind him – or at least as closely as his speculated 9 and a half inches will allow, at any rate.

Now, those of you of a more skeptical bent – and I believe there are quite a few of you out there – will have spotted the inherent flaw in this entire piece: no, I’m not talking about the continuation of some rather dodgy and long-debunked myths regarding size, ego and masculinity; or that the numbers involved are ludicrously and comically out of kilter with the real average underpants size of a fella; or even the fact that they’re clearly confused by the fact that Clarkson is a massive cock, rather than that he possesses such. No, I’m talking about the glaring fact that this survey purports to have surveyed people’s opinions and speculations of something which is grounded in fact. At the moment, Clarkson’s piece is entirely safely secreted in his over-tight dad-jeans, and thus while there is a factual answer to the penis problem, there’s only baseless speculation at this stage. Were we able to open the box, we’d be able to put the speculation aside and start dealing in facts.

What we have, in short, ladies and gentleman, is Schrödinger’s Cock. Read the rest of this entry »

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