No, Valentine’s Day makes me feel angry because at this time of the year I am subjected to a torrent of Valentine’s Day-related press releases from companies and PR agents who see this time of the year as an opportunity to spruik their wares in (supposedly) wacky ways. Take, for example, the cringe-worthy press release I received this morning with the headline: Thinking of Valentines? [sic] ……..Thinking of Sex…Ouch! It continued: “Ouch! Sex is supposed to be pure pleasure but it’s far from it if you get an infection as a result of some vigorous love action. Whether you’re on honeymoon or just fulfilling your monthly duty, sadly, some women find that they are prone to some form of irritation, cystitis or thrush within a day or so after having sex.” "Sadly", indeed. To be fair, I did learn from said release that “a woman who has had sex in the past 48 hours is 60 times more likely to get a UTI [that’s urinary tract infection for the uninitiated] than a woman who has not”. But wait! There is some good news! Thank god for Femfresh, a range of products to keep ladies fresh and UTI-free. Allegedly. To pick on only Femfresh would be unfair, especially when Pearl Drops is issuing media alerts claiming: “For a whiter smile that dazzles, let Pearl Drops help you seduce with a smile this Valentine’s Day!” It gets worse. Pearl Drops adds: “Girls, do you want to make a good impression on 14 February? If you have your eye on someone special, forget saucy underwear and flowers; just make sure your smile is shining for maximum seduction success!” Not only is this vomit-inducing, it’s also offensive. Why pick on girls? I know plenty of boys who have tubes of tooth-whitening toothpaste in the bathroom cabinet. Another press release that made me gag came from Revoice. To be fair, however, this also made me feel rather pleased at the prospect of being boyfriend-less this Valentine’s Day, lest I receive one of their products. Revoice is behind Singtones, which is a service that allows the love-struck to send, via mobile phone, a recording of themselves singing a popular love song to the object of their affection. Perhaps something from Whitney Houston or James Blunt. It doesn’t matter if your singing voice is more “cat being strangled” than Kylie Minogue. Revoice says the Singtone studio “automatically applies professional audio tuning technology to instantly enhance the user’s recordings – so they’re always in-time and in-tune”. According to Revoice boss Jeff Bloom: “To actually create your own unique Singtone ensures the message is highly personal and truly demonstrates your love… What could be a better gift this Valentine’s Day?” A bullet in the head, maybe? The motto of the story is this: before you use Valentine’s Day to do some "marketing", carefully consider what you’re going to say. The idea that you may think is playful, wacky, clever or funny probably isn’t. Save us poor single journos some added emotional turmoil at this (*sniff*) very difficult time of the year. Picture source
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