beach body 300x168 Beach body advert judged not irresponsible or offensiveWe’ve all seen THAT advert. Whether in person around London tube stations or as part of the social media backlash, who’d have thought a golden image of a young lady in full possession of a beach body would constitute such an offensive advert.

Or did it? Owing to the massive number of complaints lodged (a whopping 378), before the ASA even investigated the advert, Protein World were told not to show the ad again. Protein World have always been totally unapologetic about their advert, even baiting Twitter users, and while they couldn’t show the advert anymore, social media users gave them more media exposure than they could possibly have paid for.

Of course, the ad was taken down for causing widespread tutting, but the ASA did undertake a separate investigation to establish whether the ad was actually in breach of the advertising rules on harm, offence and social responsibility.

While all 378 complaints were not identical, the ASA collated issues into two threads, whether:

1. the ad implied that a body shape which differed from the ‘idealised’ one presented was not good enough or in some way inferior and was, therefore, offensive; and

2. the combination of an image of a very slim, toned body and the headline “ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY?” was socially irresponsible in the context of an ad for a slimming product.

Protein World said that the phrase “beach body” was commonly used and understood to mean looking at one’s best and that they did not believe that the ad implied everyone should look like the model or that the text and image were irresponsible.

And the ASA agreed. They felt that “‘beach body’ was a relatively well understood term that for some people had connotations of a toned, athletic physique” but also that some people would understand it to mean “feeling sufficiently comfortable and confident with one’s physical appearance to wear swimwear in a public environment.” While the ASA considered the advert might “prompt readers to think about whether they were in the shape they wanted to be for the summer” they found that the image did not imply that a different body shape to that shown was “not good enough or was inferior” and therefore that the ad and the image were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. Of course, the ad did cause serious or widespread offence, but the ASA ruling is that Protein World couldn’t have been expected to anticipate such a furore. The ASA also found that the ad was not ‘irresponsible’ under the CAP code as they “did not consider the image of the model would shame women who had different body shapes into believing they needed to take a slimming supplement to feel confident wearing swimwear in public.”

So there you are, outraged public, you are wrong.

TripAdvisor 300x256 Are TripAdvisor ratings worth the paper theyre (not) printed on?Have you ever visited La Scaletta? Until recently the top rated restaurant in Brescia, Italy?  If not, you aren’t alone, as Italian newspaper Italia a Tavola invented it just to prove the flawed nature of the TripAdvisor review system.

The newspaper decided to create a fictional restaurant, and then add fake glowing reviews, as an experiment to expose TripAdvisor’s vulnerability to fraudulent reviews. Within a month, the imaginary eaterie was the best restaurant in town. After contacting TripAdvisor for comment, La Scaletta’s listing was removed.

TripAdvisor, of course, deny that this means their system is flawed. A spokesperson for the company told The Independent:

“It is a pretty meaningless experiment to create a fake listing or reviews just to try and catch us out, since that is completely different from the fraud we see and catch on a daily basis. We know that, when fraudsters attempt to manipulate the rankings on our site, they leave behind patterns that we can and do trace.”

They added that they are “absolutely committed to ensuring that the content on TripAdvisor provides a trusted and useful source of information for those planning a trip anywhere in the world,” highlighting the fact that they removed the listing and the reviews from their site since they realised it ‘failed to meet guidelines’.

TripAdvisor, which currently lists over 170 million reviews, has become somewhat beleaguered of late. Last December, Italian authorities fined TripAdvisor €500,000  after ruling that it had failed to adopt sufficient mechanisms to protect consumers from misleading information, and last week it became the centre of a storm over accusations that they had deleted negative reviews of a National Trust property after a request from the PR department, who’d much rather not have those pesky ratings on the site.

TripAdvisor reportedly deleted more than 200 reviews of Wakehurst Place, a National Trust estate leased by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, with many of the negative reviews complaining about a £10-a-day parking charge and about National Trust staff at the property. TripAdvisor said that the deletions were made because they had determined that they did not relate to a genuine first-hand experience. Which is a convenient excuse.

All of this is, of course, great material for the current CMA investigation into the reliability of review sites…

People who are able bodied shouldn’t park in bays set aside for disabled people. You might think you should be able to, but you shouldn’t. Why? You’ve had enough, you bloated swine.

In Brazil, someone found themselves on the end of a grand prank, after they’d parked in such a spot.

The person in question came back to his car to find it covered in stickers, to make the whole vehicle look like a blue disabilities logo. The front, top, sides and even wheels were covered.

As you can see from the video, not only did the driver suffer the defacement of his car, but also, a watching and sarcastically cheering crowd too. He sped off and everyone laughed at him.

Not only that, the driver in question got himself a ticket too.

Now, we hand you over to all those people who have missed the fun of a prank like this, for them to complain about vandalism and littering or something.

parcel delivery Earn extra cash delivering stuff on your way to work?Social media has changed lots of things in life, and those of us who are a little older than Facebook are thankful that our teenage years are not recorded in a series of drunken photos stored somewhere on the internet forever. But social media and social sharing are also spreading away from the screen, with more and more ‘sharing economy’ businesses springing up, Uber and Airbnb being the most successful. But could you use some of the newer apps and sites, not only to save you money, but also to make a few extra pennies? For example, you could become the modern-day equivalent of a delivery boy…

More and more people are  using new ‘marketplace’ websites like Nimber and TaskRabbit to see if they can make some extra cash for doing something they were going to do anyway, like driving from London to Birmingham, for example, or even just commuting across  London. These sites don’t require deliverers to have a specific licence or any special qualifications, the idea being a simple social/community based premise that the sender can save on postage costs and that ‘bringers’ can earn money for something they are doing anyway, perhaps helping mitigate their own rising commuting/travelling costs.

According to Nimber, around 100 people a day are using the website to cut costs or earn cash, with items delivered ranging from guitars, to legal documents, to fresh flowers. Bringers set their own rate of pay when they offer jobs, or can accept jobs for a pre-agreed price- for example, one user charges around £5 for a short delivery trip through London.

And now is the time to jump onboard- for now the site doesn’t  even charge anything nor take any commission on delivery jobs, presumably while the brand is built, but Nimber says it will be introducing fees in the future.

So what’s the downside? Well, the first thought is that the delivery person you have never met might actually decide to take your item and run off into the sunset with it, rather than delivering it safely to its intended destination. While Nimber cannot prevent this happening, of course, they do actually insure your delivery item up to £500. So it’s a risk, but you would get your money back if it did happen.

However, critics also argue that these ‘sharing economy’ websites, like Nimber, Airbnb and Uber lack the regulations and safety standards offered by more professional, established businesses. We all know what ‘proper’ black cab drivers think of Uber. However, other than not having a reputation for running off with packages, we’re not sure what training, qualifications or regulations would be desperately relevant to occasional parcel passing-on.

But there is one definite downside, and it’s one of the certainties of life. Apparently, HM Revenue & Customs are already ‘in talks’ with the new industry group, Sharing Economy UK,with a view to producing “a standardised guide to alert people using such websites of the need to declare earnings via a self-assessment tax return.” An HMRC spokesman said: “Any trading income is taxable in the normal way. If there is an intention to make a profit, then the trader has a legal obligation to let us know.”

protectmoney 300x215 New best buy savings account  from a car dealership?Given the record low interest rates mortgage-payers have been enjoying for some time, the savings market has been in the doldrums, with poor rates leading many to look to alternatives to high street accounts paying pitiful rates. While some have turned to alternative investments, such as peer to peer lending, a new proposition on the market offers a ‘best-buy’ savings account, but from a slightly alternative provider- French car maker Renault.

RCI Bank, part of Renault Group’s financing brand, has jumped in to the savings market with both feet, offering a 1.5% easy-access rate that goes straight to the top of the best buy tables, tables, matching BM Savings’ market-leading account paying the same rate. However, RCI’s offering comes with no strings attached, including unlimited withdrawals and a minimum £100 opening balance, while the BM Savings account must pay in a high opening balance of £1,000 and the rate includes a 1% “bonus” for the first 12 months. And it is a good rate, the next best are Tesco Bank (1.35%), Saga (1.35%) and GE Capital Direct (1.3%).

The new brand comes from the French RCI Banque, which provides finance for Renault and Nissan, whose new UK branch of RCI Bank follows similar openings in France, Germany and Austria over the past four years.

RCI is the only car finance company who has ventured into the UK savings market, but it makes sense as a business model- it wants to become more reliant on customer deposits held rather than borrowing money on money markets. Besides being a sensible approach to risk, this also highlights how, from a finance company’s perspective, savers represent a cheap source of borrowing, with even ‘best-buy’ rates being pretty low rates indeed.

But what about the elephant in the room? RCI is owned by a French bank and as such, will not fall under the protection offered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which covers up to £85,000. However, our European neighbour has a similar scheme (set up under the same EU directive as the FSCS). The French guarantee scheme  is called the FGDR and protects deposits of up to the value of €100,000 (approx. £73,000 ) in the same way as the FSCS. If anything should happen, there is no lengthy French claim process to go through either- the FDGR will contact customers directly and customers should be issued a refund within 20 days.

Steve Gowler, chief executive of RCI Bank, said: “We’re really excited about entering into the UK savings market, and importantly entering the market with an innovative and competitive product.

“We believe we have a product that people will love. Over the next 12 months we plan to follow this up with further product launches.”

The bra you shouldn’t buy for your cat

June 10th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Have been looking at buying a padded bralette made from rough yarn? Of course you have. Everyone wants one. Possibly. Well, over at Amazon, they’re selling one which comes in a variety of colours and sizes and… well… so far, so humdrum.

However, when you get to the reviews, something amazing happens.

Some customers have complained about the holes in the design being too big, while others complain of unexpected side boob and under boob. We’re not interested in those people. We’re interested in the person who decided to dress their cat in it.

cat bra 500x278 The bra you shouldnt buy for your cat

As you can see from the review, the person didn’t want to show off their 16 year old daughter in it, because that would be creepy, given that the bra is “ridiculously small” and that they “couldn’t legally post a picture of what it looks like if she attempts to wear it.”

They did decide to show off their moggy in it, but, it isn’t all good news, despite the cat’s triumphant pose: “To be fair, it does cover all of the cat’s nipples, however, she hates the weave” concluding; “In summary, do not buy this, even for your cat.”

Have a look at the amazing cat bra review on the Amazon product page.

reg varney cash machine 300x300 Look at the price of these towels, Amazon! Over £500 BILLION?!

Reg, getting his money out for fancy towels

Sometimes, your towels just aren’t fancy enough, right? Does your glorious rump deserve something luxurious when patting the water off?

Well, luckily for you, over at Amazon, you can get a set of towels that must be made of something unfathomably brilliant, because they’ve been selling them for $800bn. In sterling, that’s around £521bn.

So what’s so good about them? Well, Calcot Ltd’s towels are woven into “super soft Supima cotton loops using zero-twist technology” and come in one colour – amethyst. They’re safe to put in the tumble drier too.

These towels are, apparently, “less prone to pilling”, which is obviously a huge concern for all towel users around the world.

The “functional and decorative fold-over edge is added to finish off an already perfect towel”, which is just what the world needs now during the economic uncertainty and seemingly near-constant warfare. Of course, you could end all wars or end the economic crisis if you have over £500bn in disposable income, but you’re probably after these towels instead.

As you can see, this is one of the longest numbers ever featured on BW.

75140dfb a386 4a4c a284 26e053ee9f22 bestSizeAvailable 500x112 Look at the price of these towels, Amazon! Over £500 BILLION?!

 

Of course, this is a fat-fingered mistake from someone, which means that, by the time you hit the link, the price has already been rectified by Amazon, which is nice.

They’re still on-sale, and you can see them here and, that said, at the new price… $80 for some stinkin’ towels! WHAT AN OUTRAGE!

ryanair 300x225 Student changes name by deed poll   cheaper than Ryanairs £220 feeA student (yes, they’re annoying – get over it) has changed his name by deed poll because it is cheaper than paying Ryanair to sort an error out. A saving of £117 no less!

What’s the craic? Well, Adam Armstrong was booked under the wrong name and Ryanair wanted £220 to alter the name on the ticket, which is double the price of the flight. So, instead of messing around with the airline, he changed his name by deed poll and rushed through a new passport under the name that he was mistakenly booked under – Adam West.

Yes. He’s now got the same name as Batman.

The name-change and updated passport cost him £103 and he said, talking about how the error happened: ”Her stepdad got my name from Facebook but I had put it as Adam West as a joke, because he was the actor who played Batman on TV.”

So why are Ryanair so prohibitively expensive on something like this? They say it isn’t just squeezing coins out of humans, but rather, a bid to stop people from reselling tickets for profit.

A spokesman for Ryanair said: “Customers are asked to ensure that the details they enter at the time of booking are correct before completing their booking and we offer a 24-hour ‘grace period’ to correct minor booking errors.”

“A name change fee is charged in order to discourage and prevent unauthorised online travel agents from ‘screenscraping’ Ryanair’s cheapest fares and reselling them on to unwitting consumers at hugely inflated costs.”

Behold! The smartnappy!

June 3rd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

baby Behold! The smartnappy!Wearable technology – whether you like it or not – is the hottest thing in geekworld. We’ve got smartwatches, glasses 2.0, virtual reality and now… drumroll please… SMARTNAPPIES!

Developers will be writing code brown for the future of the diaper, with Intel bringing us the idea of an internet-connected nappy.

Their idea is that future nappies will have a sensor in them, so if your baby empties his or her innards, you’ll get a warning on your smartphone or smartwatch. Of course, if you have at least one functioning nostril, you’ll also receive a notification to your gag reflex.

Intel’s magic nappy has, according to one report, a dual core Atom at 500Mhz, with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of flash to store. And all to capture and process your tot’s liquid bowel movements! Ain’t it a miracle of nature and science?

We suspect that some demented parents out there would like to tie the tech to their social media feeds, so everyone can be notified of baby’s first defecation. We also look forward to the Daily Mail shrieking maniacally about foreigners trying to hack your infant’s posterior. Don’t pretend either of these things won’t happen.

But will this smartnappy wipe your child’s bum and dispose of their soiled undercrackers? Absolutely not. Welcome to the future.

Parking ticket for wheel barrow

June 1st, 2015 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Some traffic wardens are just trying to do a job. They know they’re unpopular and that everyone wants to throw them legs first into a wood-chipper, but they quietly get on with their job and try their best to be fair, in what is tantamount to a job that requires them to be largely unfair.

However, some traffic wardens need a boot up the hole. You may remember one traffic warden giving a ticket to a bin – well, another one has been at it, this time, giving a parking ticket to a wheel barrow.

CGZBkG0XIAAmD18 500x412 Parking ticket for wheel barrow

If the driver of the unattended wheel barrow would like to get in touch with Bitterwallet, we’d like to offer you words of consolation and hopefully, your wheel barrow didn’t get clamped.

[BBC Leeds]

McDonald’s defy quantum physics with sign

May 29th, 2015 12 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Following on from WH Smith’s utterly bizarre take on where you can drink booze, McDonald’s are getting all quantum theory on our asses with a sign that melts the mind.

It seems that this particular Maccies has a worm hole in it.

CGH5BBeWUAEAx1k McDonalds defy quantum physics with sign

As you can see, the sign doesn’t say that you can use either lane to place your order, but rather, you should use ‘both’. Why McDonald’s would want you to be in two places at the same time is beyond us.

Maybe this particular branch is for Sam Beckett and Al, only?

[twitter/hockeynick13]

If you’ve been out in the world with your eyes open at any point, you’ll know that sometimes, Out Of Order signs will appear on toilets. They’re annoying, but a necessary evil.

However, one sign at a Debenhams in Cardiff has caused a bit of interest over what is either a fun joke or a brilliant spelling mistake. The sign apologises “for any incontinence this may cause.”

CFH64bkUEAE87kQ 500x332 Dont wet yourself over this toilets out of order sign

We can’t decide whether or not that someone is having a joke, or if it is a genuine spelling error. Either way, we’re glad it exists.

Just as long as you didn’t see it in person and end up pissing your sides.

Send someone a fart in a jar

May 15th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Ever wanted to send someone a fart in a jar? Ever thought; “Alan from accounts would really like a jar with a trump in it – I’d like to see his face and his flaring nostrils when he opens it. I really hate Alan from accounts.”

Well, you’re in luck! You no longer have to hover over an old jam jar you’d washed out, with your hole parping away into the receptacle. You can now get someone to do it for you for money.

Send a Jart is a proper thing and it’ll cost you $10, which seems like both a rip-off and a bargain at the same time.

 

fart jar 500x343 Send someone a fart in a jar

So what do you need to do? Well, on the Send A Jart website, you ‘choose a booty blast’ (options include ‘crispy’ and ‘Republican’) then write a personalised message, then seal up the stink jar and then you ‘fist bump an eagle’ because, in the words of the company: “What’s that sound? Oh, that’s just the sound of sweet-ass victory being poured in a glass. Drink it up, my friend.”

Of course, you could just do all this yourself, but careful you don’t end up like the grotesque and totally NSFW 1 Man 1 Jar video, okay?

Behold! Guinness sauce!

May 13th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

guinness 200x300 Behold! Guinness sauce!If you’ve enjoyed a pint of the black stuff and wished you could indulge in your fondness for stout 24 hours of the day, well you’re in luck. That’s because Guinness is launching a new table sauce.

Guinness hope that their sauce will rival the favourites of ketchup and brown sauce in your kitchen, and it has been developed for the past 2 years. Apparently, what we have is a ‘premium table sauce’ which replicates the flavour of the famous drink and is best suited when squirted on meat.

It has been described as a “beautifully balanced, rich, dark sauce” and in each bottle, you’ll get ‘seven per cent Guinness’, sourced straight from the brewery in Dublin.

You know, obviously, that there’s been edible forms of Guinness before. HP sauce flavoured one of their sauces with Guinness a while back. There was also a Bull’s-Eye Guinness BBQ sauce too and some people make gravy with Guinness in it.

Anyway, you’ll be able to try it from May, when it goes on sale in Tesco for for £1.49.

KitKats renamed YouTube Breaks

May 13th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Nestlé are rebranding KitKats, presumably just to annoy everyone, under the name ‘YouTube Break’. Are we all to assume that every time you try and eat one, you have to sit through some dreary advert first, which you can’t skip for 5 seconds?

Anyway, mercifully this will only be a limited run of 600,000 bars in the UK. Why anyone would want to buy a chocolate bar that says YouTube on it is another matter. Would you want some crisps that say AVG AntiVirus on them?

kit kat youtube KitKats renamed YouTube Breaks

Nestlé will be doing a load of tie-ins with Google, with this being the first of a series of 100 million differently-branded biscuits.

With this particular campaign, you’ll find that YouTube will be launching new playlists designed for KitKat eaters, so they can ‘enjoy their break’ more. That basically means eating a snack with a slightly different name and watching some playlists that are under the KitKat brand. It is magnificently pointless, seeing as you could just buy an ordinary KitKat and piss about online and have exactly the same experience.

Nestlé will also be stamping KitKats with irritating hashtags like #metimebreak and #sportybreak. We hope some pays for this marketing campaign with their life.