Today’s news was dominated by two stories. The first to be served up was a survey on how our busy lives are leading us to be able to cook only four different meals in our lifetime. Lack of time and long working hours mean we don’t learn how to cook different dishes and plump for the good old favourites like Spaghetti Bolognese and Chile Con Carne.
I’m usually tough on surveys, unless it’s part of a bigger campaign, as they are a lazy tool offered up by process-driven PR shops brimming with fluffy Muppets, but intriguingly this survey was commissioned by the PR company behind Lloyd Grossman sauces, who will doubtless be jumping for joy as they scan the coverage and see a one line mention for their client.
However, the debate generated by the survey actually promotes the idea that we should be working harder in an already time-compressed world to create real food rather than reaching for the readymade sauce crutch!
Surely that’s a bit of an own goal, even if all publicity is good publicity? Perhaps they should have communicated something about how nutritional the sauce is or focused on the fact that it doesn’t use processed ingredients.
Good old Lloyd has made a fortune for all the time he has saved us, God bless him, so I do hope that any of the more headline-hungry nationals in search of a hearty snack don’t see all this attention as an excuse to take a deeper look into the brand. I’m sure Grossman’s sauces can stand up to the microscope test, but I’m not so sure about the PR company’s ability to keep his business under such circumstances.
Speaking of sauce, the other story of the day is Freddie Flintoff’s drunken shenanigans with a pedalo boat during the Cricket World Cup. Flintoff was an heroic knight in shining armour when he helped slay the Aussies at the Ashes 18 months ago – I am sure there was a campaign to make him a sporting saint after that and I think I said at the time, national success is fine as long as you and the team can fulfil the potential shown.
The Ashes in Oz last year brought everybody down to earth and now we are back to the fun and games. Now the once-canonised Flintoff is taking the cannon-fire of disappointment. He is a fantastic cricketer but he seems to be steadily morphing into Ian Botham.
Surely the pedalo incident is just the sort of thing cricketers and footballers do. Creating mayhem and going on the rampage are surely reflective of what most lads do after a game? I have no wish to say such behaviour is good or bad; it’s just, simply, what they do. At least Flintoff has shown he has a big personality off the cricket pitch as well as on.
Dumping the responsibility of an under-performing national team at the feet of a modern Corinthian is unfair. It’s a burden that few can shoulder in this modern media age. Let’s not forget the newspaper entourage that is covering the tournament in the West Indies. Surely they’ve got to pay for their supper, as well as file a big expenses claim, for nailing a story of this magnitude?
Many years ago, when I was on the Ian Botham Hannibal walk, I learned how important it was to file a story to stay on a trip. You filed the story, irrespective of facts, rather than be called back to Blighty for more mundane duties. The journalist who got hold of “Pedalo-gate” has probably booked an extra two weeks in the Caribbean to nail another misdemeanour. And top up his tan.