Thursday, 23 December 2010

Mail plugs weight loss product

A ridiculous Mail headline for a ridiculous article:

Mail hack Paul Sims explains:

There are only two days to go before the biggest feast of the year. But for those who cannot help but ask for seconds of the Christmas turkey this might be enough to put you off.

According to a survey published yesterday partners who gain just 8lbs over the festive period could be single before the dawn of the New Year.

It seems adding just half a stone is enough for their partners to simply look elsewhere.

The 'survey' goes on to 'reveal' that:

42 per cent of men interviewed said they would be less attracted to their girlfriend if they gained half a stone in weight. And five per cent even said they would consider ending the relationship altogether.

Which doesn't really back up the headline that eyes definitely 'will' wander. But, frankly, analysing the 'results' of the 'survey' are to give it more credibility than it deserves. Why?

Because, as the Mail goes on to reveal, it was:

carried out by weight loss aid SlimWeight Patch.

And they wouldn't have a vested interest in getting people to think about their weight, would they?

The Mail have done their PR job for them. The 'article' ends with eight paragraphs of (unchallenged) quotes from a spokesman for the product. It looks suspiciously like a cut-and-paste job from a press release.

This dismal bit of 'churnalism' appeared on page 20 of today's print edition. It's a lazy puff piece which names the product three times and, online, includes a handy hyperlink to the website which sells the stuff:

Mail editor Paul Dacre once told a parliamentary select committee that he 'refutes' the charge that his paper does churnalism. So how would he explain this?

(Anton has also blogged about the Mail's article)

1 comment:

  1. Is nobody else suspicious that rather than being lazy churnalism, this is in fact a sponsored article without acknowledgement? I don't know what the guidelines are surrounding this matter, but I was always under the impression that adverts made up to look like articles required the words 'THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT' to be included.


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