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Issue Date:- 20 October 2008

Women told:- "Turn off your phone, or turn off your man"

PAYING more attention to your mobile phone than to your opposite number on a 1st date is 1 of the best ways for a woman to ensure there won't be a 2nd date, suggests a poll of single Britons. 

Men are over 4 times as likely as women to name such behaviour their biggest turn-off on a 1st date...  according to a poll of 541 singletons conducted by YouGov on behalf of Craigslist (, the free classified ads website used by a growing number of Brits for internet dating.

21% of single men identified it as "the most off-putting kind of behaviour" on a 1st date, compared to just 5% of single women.


"Men feel a great need to perform on a date..  ''I Love You But I'm Not IN Love With You: Seven Steps To Saving Your Relationship.''   On a date, it's as if the man's the performer and the woman's the audience.  And when you go to a play or film these days, what the audience is always told is:- 'switch off your mobiles'." says Andrew Marshall, a relationship therapist and author of the book,

Men are also more competitive, adds Andrew Marshall, whose next book is on singles.  "Their self-esteem is built on people laughing at their jokes.  Look at their behaviour in a group, where the man who has centre stage is the alpha male.  There's nothing worse when you're trying to perform than not having your audience's full attention."

YouGov asked 541 single Brits to identify the kind of behaviour they would find most off-putting about the other person on a 1st date. 

The only option that outscored "Paying more attention to their mobile than to me (e.g.  repeatedly taking, making calls, reading or sending texts or emails)" was "bad personal hygiene, grooming or odour" (28%).  But the latter was something that both genders found almost equally off-putting. 

Singletons as a whole rated "paying more attention to their mobile than to me, etc" (12%), a far bigger turn-off than the likes of "making repeated sexual references, innuendoes or suggestive comments (8%)", "asking to sleep with me at the end of the date" (7%), and "producing a calculator when the bill comes" (2%). 

The mobile phone option was not the only one to divide the genders:-

• Women were 6 times as likely as men to name their biggest turn-off as "Asking or expecting to sleep with me at the end of the 1st date" - named by 12% of women, compared to 2% of men. 

• Men were 3 times as likely as women to identify their biggest turn-off as "Talking too much about their previous girlfriend/ boyfriend, spouse or partner" - named by 6% of men, compared to just 2% of women.  This supports the theory that men are more competitive. 

• Women were almost twice as likely as men to name their biggest turn-off as "Putting me down/ making jokes/comments at my expense" - named by 9% of women but just 5% of men. 

The results of the Craigslist poll follow hard on the news that the new "A - Z of Modern Manners", compiled by Debrett's, the arbiter of etiquette, devotes an entire page to slamming "the horrors of the public Blackberry" and the ill-manners of those - generally, as it happens, more men than women - who are forever casting furtive public glances at their mobile phones.

Prime Minister Asked to Act on Short Beer Measures

CAMRA has visited 10 Downing Street to hand in a 23,361 name petition calling for an end to short beer measures in pubs and other licensed premises.  CAMRA launched the full pint petition last year in response to research showing that:-

- 1 in 4 pints are short measure by over 5%

- Short beer measures cost consumers a staggering £481 million a year

- 81% of all adults support new legislation to ensure pub goers are served a full pint every time

During the 1997 General Election the current Government promised that if elected they would “guarantee drinkers a full pint” and that under Labour, drinkers would get what they pay for.  Eleven years on pub goers are waiting for this promise to be fulfilled, during which time consumers have been short changed to the tune of over £5 billion.

Speaking at the Downing Street petition handover, Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive said:- “We urge the Prime Minister to take notice of the 23,361 people who have signed this petition calling for an end to short beer measures.  It is unlawful for consumers to be short measured when buying petrol and it should be unlawful for consumers to be short measured when buying a pint of beer.  The Prime Minister has a responsibility to stick to his party’s promise that under Labour, drinkers will get what they pay for.

The Government takes over 80p in tax for every pint sold in a pub.  It is about time that instead of simply taking money from the pockets of the pub-going public the Government gives something back by ensuring that consumers are served with a full pint and not 90% or 95% of a pint.”

During the last 18 months petition signatures were collected at CAMRA beer festivals and through an online campaign site.


RESIDENTS in the North West of England are more likely than the UK’s European counterparts to share a bath or cuddle up in bed in an effort to save energy and money, according to new research to mark the beginning of Energy Saving Week (20 October to 26 October 2008).

A survey of 6,000 adults across 5 European countries has found that 36% of people in the North West of England would now share a bath or shower to save money on their electricity or gas bill, compared to just 8% of Swedes.  And while 36% of people in the North West of England would cuddle up in bed to keep warm only around 23% of Spaniards and 28% of French would do the same.

The Green/Life Balance research was commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust, the UK's leading organisation set up to help people fight climate change, undertaken by ICM Research.  2000 people throughout the UK and 1000 each across France, Spain, Sweden, and Germany took part in the most comprehensive survey ever undertaken into different European countries' attitudes towards finding time to be green and how they are incorporating it into their lifestyles.

According to the research, while Brits' desire to save money is motivating them to take energy saving measures, pressure on their time is stopping them going further to save energy and find a “green/life balance”:-

o Just over half of those quizzed from the North West of England said that they are more concerned with reducing their carbon dioxide emissions than they were 12 months ago.

o 58% said that they would take more steps to cut their carbon dioxide emissions if only they had more time.

o Collectively, people living in the North West of England are spending over 23 million hours each year waiting on hold on the telephone, and more than 25 million hours stuck in traffic!

o 6 in 10 residents in the North West of England spend more than 10 minutes a week standing in queues

o Around half of those living in the North West of England waste more than 10 minutes a week waiting for the kettle to boil.

And in Europe:
o 46% of Spaniards spend 10 minutes a week or more taking siestas. 

o 21% of Frenchmen and women spend more than 10 minutes a week waiting for their food to arrive in a restaurant.

o 80% of Germans spend at least 10 minutes every week organising their desks.

Energy Saving Trust chief executive Philip Sellwood is calling for Brits to take just 10 minutes during Energy Saving Week to do something green.  He said:- "It's clear from our research that people in the UK and across Europe want to be green if only they had and family responsibilities just keep getting in the way.  Energy Saving Week is the perfect opportunity to discover your green/life balance – however much time you do or don’t have.  We’re urging people to take just 10 minutes to make time to change their households’ habits to help fight climate change.  It doesn’t take long to get things started – there are lots of things you can do in just 10 minutes."

One of the UK's leading financial psychology experts Benjamin Fry is working with the Energy Saving Trust to show consumers how saving energy can save money too.  He commented:- “This research shows that saving energy and money at the same time need not be dull.  Judging by how it is turning the temperature up on Britons’ love lives, with so many of us taking romantic energy saving measures to beat the credit crunch, doing your bit to help climate change has suddenly become a lot more attractive.  According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average household can save around £340 a year by being more energy-efficient and with the credit crunch unlikely to ease any time soon, there has never been a better time to start finding positive motivations for living a greener life.”

Energy Saving Week, now in its 12th year, is designed to promote energy saving action among householders through a concentrated programme of events across the UK, via a range of partner organisations and the Energy Saving Trust's network of regional advice centres.

Other survey findings include:-

o 68% of people living in the North West of England are willing to reuse leftover food in a bid to save money, compared to an average of 55% across Europe.

o Residents in the North West of England believe that out of the 4 UK nations, England is the most successful at cutting their carbon dioxide emissions, but voted Sweden as the most successful European country from a list of 11, with the UK receiving only 8% of the vote.  In Europe, Germany placed themselves at the top of the list, with 35% of Germans believing they are the most successful at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, 19% voting for the Swedes and only 2% of Germans voting for France.

o 6 in 10 people living in the North West of England would be encouraged to live a greener lifestyle if the Government offered green tax credits.

o Nearly a 3rd of residents in the North West of England are in favour of a green bank holiday for people to take specific steps to be green.

o 88% of people living in the North West of England would be encouraged to go green if community initiatives such as grants were provided to help implement energy saving measures in the home.

o 25% of working adults from the North West of England would like to see their employers help them to achieve a "greener lifestyle" by offering ‘green benefits’ such as loans for energy-efficient products or free visits from an energy doctor and 14% would like to see their employers giving them time off to reduce their CO2 emissions.

o 42% of people living in the North West of England still leave the TV on standby before they go to bed - this collectively wastes around £3 million a year and generates as much carbon dioxide as driving nearly 34 million miles in the average UK car.

To find out more about can be done – whether in 10 minutes or a whole weekend – during Energy Saving Week, householders should call their local Energy Saving Trust advice centre on 0800 512012 for free impartial advice. 

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