Archive for January, 2009

Even adult entertainment is feeling the pinch

January 23, 2009


Adult Entertainment

Adult Entertainment

It seems the financial downturn is impacting industries everywhere – even the adult entertainment industry is suffering!

But they’re not taking things lying down. As it were.

Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis said they will request that Congress allocate $5 billion for a bailout of the adult entertainment industry, before they need to move from porn to pawning everything.

Francis said in a statement that “the US government should actively support the adult industry’s survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people.”

In reality the porn industry is not seeing any significant dent in profits. Any droop in DVD sales is being offset by rising web activity. 

“People are too depressed to be sexually active,” Flynt said in the statement. “This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex. With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It’s time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.”


Spammers have manners

January 14, 2009

Swinton Insurance emailed me twice today within two hours.
(So far so fascinating….)
The first time they emailed was to tell me that it was only 15 days until my house insurance is due for renewal.
(Can you hold your excitement?)
The second was to apologise for their mistake as my house insurance isn’t due at all.

See. Thing is, that’s the first time that I’ve ever had an apology from someone for spamming me. In a sad old way, I was quite touched, almost like we’d returned to the good old days when manners were manners and people gave up their seat for old people on the bus. OK, not quite. But nevertheless, I’ve decided I quite like this spam ettiquette. In fact, you never know, I might just look up Swinton Insurance when my home insurance is actually due…

Shock to the System

January 14, 2009
Thats right, she has a bee in her bonnet

That's right, she has a bee in her bonnet

A futuristic bee-keeper? A bold fashion statement? Centrally-heated headwear for the cold weather?

No, this is Sarah – a woman who feels the pressures of modern living more than most. She’s one of a growing number of people reporting sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted by appliances, mobile phones and Wi-Fi networks.

Struck down with “electro-sensitivity” (ES) ten years ago, Sarah had to give up work and stay at home, with symptoms including hair loss, sickness, high blood-pressure, memory problems, severe headaches and dizziness. At one stage things were so bad that she felt a violent shock even picking up the handset of a landline…

Obviously, now she wears protective wire netting over her head, has installed radiation reflecting foil wallpaper and has Nasa-designed curtains to keep out radiation from mobiles, transmission masts, power lines and wireless broadband.

Is this just 21st Century paranoid hypochondria – our equivalent of the witch’s curse of yesteryear – or are we looking at our generation’s asbestos? If so, tech journalists and PRs are likely to be the first to find out! Let’s hope not, eh?

French health secretary Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin recently warned against excessive phone use and award-winning neurosurgeon Dr Vini Khurana has spoken out against the potential dangers of the technologies we all now take for granted. However, the majority of scientists and researchers currently take the opposing view, stating that there is no proven link between EMR and an increased risk of cancer. Symptoms vary wildly between ES sufferers and no clinical trials have established any link.

No doubt these sufferers are experiencing real symptoms, but could they be psychosomatic in nature? Freud described patients experiencing psychosomatic blindness and even paralysis brought on by hysteria…

But who needs Freud, Richard and Judy are on the case:

Close encounters of the turbined

January 8, 2009
The turbine in Lincolnshire

The turbine in Lincolnshire

Has anyone noticed the suspiciously high amount of UFO activity recently?

You can’t even leave a perfectly good wind turbine lying around for five minutes without some three-eyed pan-galactic drunk driver taking it out.

Nearby residents reported hearing a huge bang and seeing “a giant explosion in the air” and “a massive ball of light”. The 89 metre turbine lost one of its propellers and another was severely damaged. Ecotricity, the turbine manufacturer, said “this kind of thing has never happened to us before”.

The current expert theory is that the damage was caused by “rapidly freezing ice” or “shearing”.

My personal theory is that it’s a PR stunt, which has already secured coverage in The Times, The Telegraph, The Sun, Radio 4 and a host of other nationals and broadcast media.

Or it could be aliens with a distaste for renewable energy sources, obviously.


A good pun is its own reword

January 8, 2009

Journalists are imaginative people, apparently. They spend hours searching for the perfect, unique way to catch the reader’s attention.

London Lite


But sometimes the ideal pun is just too obvious to ignore, as demonstrated by both the London Lite and thelondonpaper yesterday opting for the same headline regarding the disruption on the West Coast Main Line…

Technology predictions 2009 – the good, the bad and the ugly-ish

January 5, 2009

Check out this video on Tech Predictions for 2009 on Pocket Lint’s site, featuring, well, me… Skywrite was positioned as tech PR experts and asked by Stuart Miles for  our thoughts on what will be big in the tech industry this coming year.  Android, bluetooth cameras, the personal Web, mobiles with never-draining batteries – take a look…

Emma featured on's 2009 Tech Predictions

Emma featured on's 2009 Tech Predictions

Communications in the credit crunch

January 5, 2009




With the media doing little to quell the hype around the credit crunch as we move into a new year I found myself thinking this morning about the effect that the dip in consumer confidence might have on the communications market. 


I’m not thinking of advertising, marketing or PR, but more of how the economic climate may affect consumers’ general appetite for IT and telecommunications.  With the average consumer now switched on 24/7 via access to broadband internet on the PC both at work and at home, and with mobile phones becoming increasingly useful information and entertainment tools, it is unlikely that fears of the impending recession will be enough to make us consider giving up these premium services, but is it enough to make us permanently change our communications habits? 


I envisage that, as consumers become more price-conscious, we might begin to re-examine the service providers’ and mobile operators’ offerings, becoming more discriminating between the various offers on the market and increasingly looking to combine services under one spend (think of Virgin’s quadplay digital TV, broadband, phone and mobile package).  Consumers certainly stand to benefit from better value in 2009, but which of the big players will be savvy enough to predict what we want and lead the market in delivering it?  Stay tuned….


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