Tesco’s Ginger Joke

16 12 2009

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I did tweet about this yesterday but again thought I should share it via the blog. This is one of my absolute favourite stories to ever appear in the press…. Tesco were on the money with popular humour but far off on the decent stakes.

I read yesterday that the big-chain supermarket had to publicly apologise after complaints about a Christmas Card. I can hear you thinking, “What on earth could be so bad about a Christmas card…?”

Well, some clever people at Tesco thought it would be funny to sell cards that showed a child with ginger hair sitting on Santa’s lap with the words “Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones” above. Now, to me this is absolutely hilarious and spot on with jokes you hear every day, but I can see how offence could be taken.

In fact, a mother of three (all redheads) told BBC News, “I picked it up and I couldn’t believe it… I just thought ‘What is so funny about that?’ I didn’t really get the joke.”

In a way I do commend Tesco for joining the ginger joke, which I will point out most redheads do not mind, but I can see her point. But is this just yet another case of political correctness gone mad…? Perhaps.


Always judge a present by its wrapping paper!

2 12 2009

Kate Moss’ design in 2008

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make me happy, and the latest is the knowledge that the Guardian’s Celebrity wrapping paper is back.

I loved this last year and still have all of the sheets – yet another thing that I’ve been meaning to frame and look pretty, but remains piled under more junk in my room. Anyhoo, I’m really glad it’s back and I *will* do something with the good ones from this year!

Starting from this Saturday, the Guardian will be giving away a free sheet of wrapping paper designed by a different celebrity. This year’s line up includes the one and only Vivienne Westwood, Hollywood actress Helen Mirren, and the gorgeous Lily Allen. As well as Jamie Oliver, Nicole Kidma, Rufus Wainwright, and Desmond Tutu.

So, even if your presents are lacking in creativity this year, at least they’ll look great under the tree!

Birmingham has style… a whole mile of it actually!

1 12 2009

People often say that Birmingham doesn’t have style, but the latest campaign from Style Birmingham is about to prove them wrong.

Launched today, the ‘One Mile of Style’ campaign aims to help shoppers have a stress-free Christmas whilst remaining festively fashionable by exploring the concise offering the city has to offer.

With over 1000 shops, bar and restaurants in the city centre alone, Birmingham has everything you need; from the ultimate gifts and perfect party dresses, to a suitably festive day out.

The launch of ‘One Mile of Style’ comes perfectly in time with my post yesterday about ‘Manic Monday’ where I said that the high street needed to embrace the internet, rather than give in to it. This campaign is a great example of how through the website, Style Birmingham is encouraging people to shop on the high street rather than the internet. The map allows you to explore the city’s key shopping area and the festive activities happening throughout December, without actually leaving your house. As well as downloading the map straight from your computer, you can also link in to the Style Birmingham iPhone App and navigate your way round the city centre.

This works similarly to OSOYOU, where shoppers can explore their favourite high street stores, compare prices and create a shopping list to then go and explore the shops in person.

This is how I think the retail world should work together, to ensure we don’t see the death of the high street just yet.

Oh, and don’t forget to look out for the brand new Style Birmingham TV Advert, which premieres on ITV (after Emmerdale) tonight. Exciting times!


Any excuse for shopping – discounts ahoy!

23 11 2009

Brilliant picture by Tim Ellis – on Flickr

Not that I need an excuse to go shopping but Selfridges is making sure that Christmas comes early with a fantastic 20% off. From 26-29 November (yes, this week people!) you can get 20% off your Christmas shopping and 10% off beauty and fragrance brands by printing this voucher.

There’s even better news for anyone in Birmingham, the city’s most stylish independent (as crowned at last month’s Style Awards), Disorder, also has 15% off until New Year’s Eve.

I do believe this weekend will be spent shopping… woo hoo!

Oh, and for those of you who love a good discount, keep an eye on Style Birmingham’s Offers page!

Christmastime, mistletoe and wine… oh and shopping!

18 11 2009

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Before you all start, yes I know I have just got back from New York but I’m not talking those holidays; I’m talking about Christmas.

This week, I have been feeling particularly festive having just got back from The Big Apple, where the ice rinks and Christmas trees are set and ready for the festive season and Macy’s infamous windows are lining 34th Street. Even better, when I arrived home from the airport, I turned on the TV and saw the Coca Cola advert, which to me always means the official start to Christmas.

Further fuelling my Christmas Spirit, the German Market is back in Birmingham and bigger than ever. Tonight I had my first trip to said market, and one of my lovely Twitter friends (@danofftheradio) told me about the Hot Chocolate with Jagermeister. Now, two of my favourite things in the world are chocolate and Jager so to put them together was always going to be a winner with me, but it really was a taste sensation!  Luckily, the German Market always encourages Birmingham’s social crowd to meet, at every available opportunity, for some Bratwurst and Gluhwein so I’ll be partaking in plenty of alcoholic chocolate!

Apart from the amazing market, one of the other brilliant things about Christmas is of course, shopping. Not that I need much encouraging – I like to use working on Style Birmingham as an excuse to shop as much as possible (research!) – but nothing beats shopping for presents! We are all too aware that this will be a difficult year with the dreaded recession, but I think that retailers are really pulling out the stops to make sure we all keep spending; after all, that’s the only way to keep the economy going.

Birmingham’s retailers are no exception and have some exciting things happening over the festive season… make sure you check them out!

Shopping Events

Debenhams is offering 25% off across all departments in their Christmas Spectacular Sale! From Wednesday 18th November – Saturday 21st November, you can stock up on presents and bag yourself some goodies too. There is also 10% off beauty and cosmetics.

On Thursday 19th November, House of Fraser is holding a ‘Prepare to Party Fragrance event’ on the ground floor. Join them in-store for top tips on looking great this Christmas; during the day Mugler will be holding fragrance workshops and from 5pm, DIOR’s visiting make-up artist will be showing everyone the hottest party looks. To RSVP, email Birmingham@hof.co.uk.

I’ve also heard on the grapevine, there’s a special two-day discount event the following Thursday and Friday.

Brilliantly Birmingham Pop-Up Shop

Opening on 5 December until Christmas Eve, Pavilions will host a special jewellery pop-up shop. The temporary boutique will give you the chance to buy original hand-crafted jewellery, meet local designers and commission bespoke pieces. There will be pieces for men and women, and for all budgets.

Festive Families

Christmas is all about the family and Pallasades is certainly spreading the Christmas Spirit. As well as hosting Birmingham’s biggest grotto, the shopping centre has also teamed up with a number of top local attractions including Sea Life Centre, Cadbury World, Thinktank, Black Country Museum and Dudley Zoo. By spending just £10 at any or a combination of stores at the centre and showing the receipt/s, shoppers can get a special discount book.

Taste Sensations

As well as the aforementioned German treats, retailers are also looking to tantalise your tastebuds. Bullring have a Ferrero Rocher Christmas Tree (yes, heaven) and Harvey Nichols has opened their pop-up gift shop in The Mailbox, which includes a range of seasonal treats. Harvey Nics will be holding a Festive Fete on 30 November in the store, where you can enjoy the finest food and wine, create bespoke hampers and get your gift-buying sorted. Tickets are complimentary and limited spaces for the Fancy Nancy session will be offered on a first come first served basis. For more information and to book your tickets contact the Harvey Nichols Foodmarket on 0121 616 6000.

He’s Behind You…

And don’t forget about Selfridges, who will be bringing Panto to the high street. During December there will be some very special panto-related treats, so make sure you’re around to enjoy them.

I have plenty more to tell you about Style Birmingham’s plans for Christmas, but I’ll leave them for another time. For now, go and enjoy some Bratwurst and get shopping!