Thursday, 22 July 2010



The Alton Towers Resort has confirmed it will not be running new ride TH13TEEN on Friday 13th August. The decision follows in-depth research which found that over 30 million Brits* consider themselves superstitious and that one in three will change their behaviour on Friday 13th August for fear of bad luck. As a result, the Alton Towers Resort has made the unexpected decision to temporarily close the ride as they fear that a large proportion of visitors will not feel comfortable riding a rollercoaster named after the number 13 on what many feel is the nation’s unluckiest day.

According to the research, which was undertaken in conjunction with superstition expert Professor Bruce Hood from the University of Bristol, a surprising two thirds (64%) of people in the UK are superstitious – with the majority of superstitions based around bad luck. Nine out of ten people admitted to acting on these fears and a quarter (one in four) believe that Friday 13th is unlucky. Such precautions are not as trivial as they may seem, with loss of business due to superstition estimated to cost the US economy $800-900 million every Friday 13th**.

As a result, the Alton Towers Resort has decided to take the controversial step of closing TH13TEEN for the day on Friday 13th August – the first time the theme park has chosen to close a ride. TH13TEEN, which opened in March 2010, is the UK’s first ‘free-fall drop’ coaster and is based on the discovery of an unearthed crypt. Built on an ancient burial site, TH13TEEN takes riders on a gruelling journey through the Dark Forest where they face a battle with the unknown.

According to Professor Hood, the author of “SuperSense: From Superstition to Religion - The Brain Science of Belief,” these findings are not surprising. He said, “There is little evidence that superstitions have declined over the past 10 years and indeed recent studies show they increase in times of economic recession. People don’t like to tempt fate.”

Morwenna Angove, Sales and Marketing Director at the Alton Towers Resort said, “Our research has revealed that Brits are a seriously superstitious bunch and as our latest ride is named after the unluckiest of numbers, we’ve taken the decision to close that ride on Friday 13th to reassure our visitors. The rest of the Alton Towers Resort will, of course, be open for business as usual for braver guests! THI3TEEN may be the most technologically advanced rollercoaster in the UK but guests can still enjoy our other famous rides such as Nemesis and Oblivion, as well as our fun family attractions and amazing entertainment.”

Research Stats
• 31.6 Million Brits are superstitious
• 1 in 10 of the UK population would not go on a rollercoaster on Friday the 13th
• A third of people (32%) change their behaviour on Friday the 13th for fear of bad luck
• Most popular superstitious beliefs:
- Breaking a mirror is a bad omen (61%)
- Walking under a ladder is bad luck (59%)
- Touching wood makes something come true (45%)
• 16-34 year olds are the most superstitious age group with 73% considering themselves to be superstitious compared to 58% of 45-54 year olds.
• 64% of people believe in superstitions
• Glasgow and Norwich are the most superstitious cities in the UK, Manchester and Sheffield are the least
• Women (74%) are more superstitious than men (50%)
• 49% of people do not know where their superstitions originate from


For more information please contact the Alton Towers Resort PR team on 0207 693 6999 or email
The MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, which has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s number one, and the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 62 attractions and 6 hotels in 12 countries, across 3 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 38.5 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 14,000 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – SEA LIFE – the world’s No 1 aquarium brand, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The Merlin Entertainments London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures, Heide Park, Underwater Adventures, and Earth Explorer.
Notes to editors:
The survey was carried out online by Matters between 15th-19th July and used a nationally representative sample of 1,111 UK adults aged 16+.
* Statistic derived from Office for National Statistics data. UK adult population equals (49,433,600). 64% of UK adults are superstitious. 64% of 49,433,600 equals 31,637,504 UK adults.
**Based on Ng, T, Chong, T & Du, X. (2010). The Value of Superstitions. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31, 293-309.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Emmi FanMan Rescues Underground Commuters

- Fan-tastic Superhero cools hundreds on the sweltering Tube -

Following on from the government’s recent announcement that the budget to cool Tube carriages on the London Underground has been slashed by £10m, Emmi, the Swiss Dairy Group, have decided to take matters in to their own hands.

Commuters are set to receive some welcome relief from the excruciating heat of the London underground from an unexpected hero. The Emmi FanMan, a six-foot fan-wielding super-hero, uses state of the art technology to blast those around him with a refreshing jet of cool air and is preparing to use his powers for the good of London’s commuters.

The FanMan, who gets his name from his eye-catching super hero outfit and his cooling powers, will be riding the tube and visiting offices in London over the next couple of days. Fans of the Emmi FanMan can follow his movements at and even request his presence on your tube line or in your office via his Twitter @EmmiUKLtd and Facebook Page

Emmi FanMan gave this statement:

“I’m just someone who wanted to make a difference. In a world where heat exhaustion, dehydration and profuse sweating are rife I knew I couldn’t just standby and watch any longer. Commuting is an exhausting business but coupled with the crippling heat of a packed tube carriage it becomes unbearable. I’m there for people in their time of need.”

Julie Plant, Managing Director of Emmi, said:

“With this summer expected to be one of the hottest since records began and no sign of plans to install air conditioning units, we felt it was time someone took a stand. Our job is to provide a refreshing lift for people and when we met FanMan we realised what good he could do and began planning who we could help with his powers.”

In previous years, tests in some carriages have shown that during the summer temperatures have exceeded 35 °C – which would make the network officially unfit for transporting cattle. Conventional air-conditioning units have been ruled out on many of the deeper train lines for the time being, so until then there is FanMan.

FanMan’s helpers will also be handing out ice cold Emmi Caffe Latte at several station entrances across the capital. Emmi Caffe Latte is a cool and refreshing iced coffee drink that is the ultimate cold on-the-go refreshment. It comes in a convenient re-sealable cup and can be enjoyed any time of day as a light refreshing drink.

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High-res images can be downloaded from here: (5MB only)

For more information, interviews, high-res images please contact the Emmi Fan Man’s publicity agents:

0207 693 7490
0207 693 6999

Notes to Editors:
About Emmi
Lucerne-based dairy group Emmi is the leading Swiss company for cheese and fresh products. Innovations, gains in market share and acquisitions have contributed to several years of sustained growth both in Switzerland and in international markets. In 2009, Emmi posted operating income (sales) of around CHF 2.620 billion and employed a total of 3,500 people (full-time equivalents) in Switzerland, Europe and North America.



From 21st July 2010
Exclusively on Disney XD and

Rap star vocalist Tinchy Stryder joins an all star line-up for Disney XD’s Aim High, a brand new initiative designed to inspire a generation of kids to get the most out of life, try new things and be the best they can be. Disney XD’s Aim High will offer fans the chance to win a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience with a talented and dedicated professional including; top England striker Darren Bent, T20 World Cup winner and Ashes hero Stuart Broad, chart-topping rap vocalist Tinchy Stryder, and award winning Disney animator Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh.

Each month, Disney XD’s Aim High will give kids across the country the chance to win a series of mentorships to learn how to realise their true potential. Seeking inspiration from world class footballers, experts in sports photography, top musicians, music journalists, world class cricketers and leading coaches, Disney XD’s Aim High gives kids everywhere the chance to do what they love and love what they do. Whatever the route, the important thing is to aim high.

Chart topping Tinchy Stryder will be among those making time to inspire the music stars of the future. This comes hot on the heels of Tinchy’s recent business collaboration with his own childhood hero, Jay Z, which aims to find new talent in the UK. Tinchy said: “I'm really looking forward to working with Disney on their Aim High mentorship programme. I hope that sharing my experiences in the music industry with those kids involved, will help them in some way get ahead in this business."

Kicking off Disney XD’s Aim High last month was Darren Bent and with 30 goals scored this season, Darren’s star is firmly in the ascendant. Ensuring the line up of talent for Disney XD’s Aim High showcases the very best of sporting talent the UK has to offer England hero Stuart Broad will be among those making time to inspire the cricket stars of the future.

Music and sport isn’t the only area of interest for Disney XD kids. With a string of award-winning global hit comedies under his belt, including The Simpsons, Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh is one of the best animators in the business and is the co-creator and co-exec producer of Disney XD’s number one hit series, Phineas and Ferb.

From a kick-about with Darren at Sunderland AFC, perfecting football skills and gaining top tips for success, to learning how to score a six and bowl a spinner with Stuart to recording vocals and learning about the music industry with Tinchy or flying out with the whole family to The Walt Disney Animation Studios in California to spend the day producing a Phineas and Ferb Show alongside Swampy – the adventure of a lifetime awaits.

Make sure you are part of Disney XD’s Aim High this summer by visiting from the 1st June 2010 and apply for your dream mentorship. Look out for more on Aim High on Disney XD as exclusive footage, featuring England footballer Darren Bent will air on the Disney XD channel from 1st June 2010.
For further information, please contact:

Frank PR on 0207 693 6955 or email

Notes to Editors

Darren Bent
Top English striker Darren Bent currently plays for Sunderland AFC and has and scored over 20 goals this season. He began his career at Ipswich Town in 2001 where he made 141 appearances and scored 55 goals. He then joined Charlton Athletic where he has their top goal scorer for two consecutive seasons before moving onto this current club Sunderland. Darren made his international debut for England against Uruguay in 2006 and has made five appearances since.

Stuart Broad
English cricketer Stuart Broad is one of England’s young rising stars representing his country in Test and One Day International cricket. A vital member of the victorious 2009 England Ashes squad Broad was the leading wicket taker with 18 wickets and subsequently won Man of the Match in the fifth Test at the Oval. Broad also plays for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.

Jeff Marsh
With a string of award winning global hit comedies under his belt, including The Simpsons, Jeff Marsh, is one of the best in the business. As well as creating and co-exec producing Disney XD’s number one hit series, Phineas and Ferb, he also writes songs heard in the series and voices the character of Major Monogram. Over the past 20 years, Marsh has worked for many of the top names in animation, including Hanna Barbera, Klasky Csupo and Nickelodeon. He worked as a storyboard artist and designer for the Emmy Award-winning series, "King of the Hill," and for four seasons as a writer and director on "Rocko's Modern Life," gaining the show an Environmental Media Award.

About Disney XD
Launched in the UK in August 2009, Disney XD is the country’s first boy-focused, girl-inclusive channel for kids aged 6-14 years. Disney XD includes a compelling mix of live-action and animated programming, hyper-targeting boys and their quest for discovery, accomplishment, sports, adventure, music and humour. Next X is a brand new local production for Disney XD. Disney XD branded content spans television, online and VOD platforms. The programming line-up includes series, movies and short-form content.

About The Walt Disney Company in Europe Middle East and Africa:
About The Walt Disney Company EMEA:
The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and its interactive media group.

TWDC has had a presence in Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for more than 70 years, with operations in twenty three countries with more than 5,500 employees. As a major film distributor in the region, TWDC has seen recent success with films such as Disney/Pixar’s ‘Up’ and the blockbuster 3D hit ‘Alice In Wonderland’. As one of Europe’s foremost suppliers of TV content, TWDC distributes Disney-branded and non-branded television programming and channels including ESPN channels and hit series such as ‘Lost’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’ which ranks in the top 10 US series on air in France, Germany, Italy and the UK with young adults. Disney Channel first launched in the region in 1995 and its growth has continued through 2009 when Disney Channel launched in an additional fifteen territories across EMEA, making it available in over 58 million homes. Together with Disney XD, the new boy-focused girl-inclusive channel which launched in thirteen territories across EMEA in 2009, there are 53 branded Disney channels in EMEA in 20 languages covering 109 countries and more than 70 million homes. Disneyland Paris has grown since its opening in 1992 and its two parks are now Europe’s number one tourist destination.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


The World Cup Comedown
Psychologists Braced For Nationwide ‘Post Tournament Depression’

Recent research from has shown that during the 2010 World Cup South Africa, the average British male thought about football 43 times a day, watched nearly 30 hours of the sport on TV and spent over £400 on World Cup merchandise and entertainment, causing psychologists to warn that up to 40% the UK’s football fanatics are at risk of developing PTD (Post Tournament Depression). This is underlined by additional findings from the football fan survey in which:

• 62% admitted that every social conversation they engaged in revolved around football
• 36% lied to a partner or boss regarding their whereabouts to watch matches in the pub
• 21% missed or turned up late for important appointments due to watching games on TV
• 15% abstained from sex or cancelled a date to avoid not missing a key match
• 6% experienced relationship breakdowns during the tournament

After studying the behaviour of football fans and the survey findings, renowned Psychologist Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic has categorised the World Cup as a genuine addiction for many men and predicts a widespread emergence of men suffering from P.T.D. – a new psychological state associated with the ‘come down’ experience which follows the adrenaline-fuelled month of World Cup action.

Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic said: “We saw early signs of this with in patients when England were first knocked out of the World Cup, but expect it to worsen now that the tournament has ended. One of the biggest issues is that many people won’t recognise the Symptoms of PTD, which can range from boredom to clinical depression, all dependent on the severity of one’s addiction”.

It has been estimated that up to four million football fans in the UK may experience some level of P.T.D. in the weeks following the World Cup final. To help combat this, Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic has produced a free downloadable guide to P.T.D. which is hosted on the website. The guide identifies the symptoms of the P.T.D. and suggests a variety of ways to self-treat it. Visit

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


Save Our Pits!
Odour-conscious Brits unveiled by The Body Shop® ‘Perspiration Nation’ report

Almost half (46%) of Brits consider sweaty or smelly armpits to be the ultimate body crime, according to research released today by The Body Shop®. The hygiene no-no topped the list of bad body etiquette ahead of yellow teeth (11%), greasy hair (9%) and even smelly feet (4%), in the national study of underarms.

The ‘Perspiration Nation’ report, commissioned by The Body Shop to mark the launch of its’ new aluminium salt-free deodorant collection DeoDry, also revealed that 43% of Brits admit to being most concerned about body odour whilst at work. After exercise, sex was found to be the biggest sweat-inducer at 60%, followed by conducting a presentation (54%), being late for work (42%) and confrontational situations (38%). The report also revealed we should expect to get sweatier as the summer hots up, with 15th July predicted to be the sweatiest day of the year.

Almost three quarters (72%) of bold Brits admit they would prefer to be told if they had body odour and it seems they’re more than happy to name and shame their European counterparts. The French were billed as the ‘wiffiest’ in Europe with 30% of us considering them to be the smelliest European nation in the survey, followed by the German’s in second place (23%) and the Greek’s who secured third place at 14%.

As a nation, we take a regimented approach to our deodorant application with 65% citing it the most important part of the morning routine and over half (54%) claiming that they would never forget to apply deodorant. The study times with the release of the new DeoDry collection from The Body Shop, a range of deodorants with all the benefits of an anti-perspirant, yet without the inclusion of pore-clogging ingredients generally used to stop you perspiring.

Melanie Taylor, Marketing Director of The Body Shop says, “As the summer gets into full swing, this invariably means tighter clothes, sweatier commutes and more armpits on display across the country. Our report shows just how odour-conscious we are as a nation, especially in comparison to our European counterparts, yet there still seems to be low awareness around the benefits of using a natural deodorant. We’ve worked hard to develop a deodorant range that is aluminium salt free, as well as delivering on protection and dryness, so Brits can feel confident when it comes to the sweatiest day of the year on 15th July!”

The Body Shop® DeoDry range features natural volcanic mineral in an ultra-fine powder with efficient water absorption capacity, free from aluminium salts.
DeoDry is available in three fragrances (Cool and Zesty, Chilled and Breezy and Fresh and Floral) and all are available in both stick and roll-on, with the roll-on available as a refill, helping to reduce waste and packaging.
Available at £4.00 RRP (£3.00 for a roll-on refill), log on to for further information.


For further information on the report or case studies please contact
Frank PR on Tel: 020 7693 6999 or email

Notes to Editor
Survey conducted on 2,000 UK residents by 72 Point, June 2010.


Clubbers and island hoppers to get the inside track on Ibiza’s Summer season direct to the beach on their BlackBerry

Ibiza Rocks is proud to announce the launch of its exclusive app for BlackBerry® smartphones, which provides the ultimate guide to getting the most out of your holiday on the white isle with listings, gig reviews, interviews with Ibiza Rocks talent and the latest news on Ibiza trends throughout the season.

Offering the best way to stay up to date while on the move, the app will unlock all of Ibiza’s best kept secrets exclusively for BlackBerry users. The full Ibiza Rocks line up is just a click away, and the Ibiza Rocks team of intrepid island reporters will be updating the app each and every week with exclusive interviews with some of the bands performing at Ibiza Rocks, along with reviews of all the gigs.

Allowing BlackBerry users to be the first to hear about all the latest Ibiza happenings, there will be weekly island news and recommendations from celebs, DJs and island promoters.

There is also a handy guide to all Ibiza’s must-visit destinations - from choosing the best beach for a spot of sun-worshipping, to planning the restaurants, bars and clubs to hit on a night out, the app brings together years of insider knowledge from the Ibiza Rocks team.

Users will also be able to create their own Ibiza Rocks guide via the ‘Your Ibiza Rocks’ feature, which allows you to upload your own place recommendations and photo galleries. And to make sure everyone at home knows just how much fun you’re having, this feature can be linked up to your Twitter page so that all your friends can follow your Ibiza adventures.

Shane Murray of Ibiza Rocks says: “For the last five years we’ve been redefining Ibiza for a new generation, and a big part of that is looking at innovative ways to expand the Ibiza Rocks experience for our audience. Developing a BlackBerry app ticks all the boxes – it allows people to tap into Ibiza Rocks whenever and wherever they are, and gives us a new outlet for all the fantastic content we’re developing this season.”

Ibiza Rocks takes place every Tuesday until 14th September; highlights include Dizzee Rascal, Florence and the Machine, Maximo Park, Ian Brown and Calvin Harris, with The Prodigy and DJ Rob da Bank playing the Ibiza Rocks 5th Birthday Party in July.

The official Ibiza Rocks BlackBerry application is available to download from BlackBerry app world or

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For further information please contact:

Frank PR on or 020 7693 6999

The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners.