Skip to content

Do Mail journos read the Mail?

It’s been dubbed the ‘pink tax’: an inexplicable mark-up in pricing which sees women paying a premium on the same products as men, whether it’s plain cotton T-shirts, pens, razors, designer perfume or even just shower gel.
After a recent investigation found that the average price difference between men and women’s products is around 36 per cent, the debate has been thrust into public spotlight once more.
And now a petition has been launched, urging the executive vice president of Boots, Simon Roberts, to ‘charge women fairly’ when it comes to like-for-like products.

OK. And why do women get charged more?

One is a luxury brand that costs a hair-raising £119 and boasts the ability to ‘transform’ women’s locks, ordaining them with the glamour of Russian royalty.
The other is a bargain product sold at a budget supermarket for just 75p and simply promises to leave you with shiny, supple hair.
But when Britain’s most expensive shampoo and conditioner went head to head with the cheapest in a blind test – which came out on top?
In an experiment conducted by The Mail on Sunday, ten women were asked to replace their usual haircare products with alternative brands. Half of the group were given Cien Provitamin 300ml shampoo and conditioner from Lidl.
The other half were given the ultra-chic Philip B Russian Amber Imperial brand, which at £119 for a single pot of shampoo and the same price for the conditioner is the costliest haircare product on the British High Street.
The testers didn’t know which they were using.

….
After three weeks, our volunteers were asked to rate the shampoo out of five on the product’s appearance and consistency, how much they liked the scent, how it lathered when applied to the hair, and its efficacy at cleaning the hair. Conditioner was scored on appearance, consistency, scent, and how well it detangled hair.
The results showed that the cheaper shampoo outclassed its more expensive rival, scoring 88 out of a possible 125 compared to Philip B’s 66. Out of 25, Lidl scored 16 for lather while Philip B scored just seven; 18 for appearance to Philip B’s 13; and 18 on consistency compared to Philip B’s eight.
Philip B scored marginally better on scent and efficacy, with 19 in both categories compared to Lidl’s 18.
For the conditioner, Lidl proved the winner again, scoring 72 out of 100 overall compared to 69 for Philip B.

Because women will pay more.

Case closed.

25 thoughts on “Do Mail journos read the Mail?”

  1. “Inexplicable” being the case only if you don’t understand economics. It’s like saying quantum mechanical effects are inexplicable when you don’t understand physics.

    If it’s evidence of anything “social”, it’s that women as a group have more to spend on shampoo etc as a group.

  2. I asked wife why we spend CHF 5 on Head & Shoulders when own-brand is 1.25. She swears it’s better. I can’t tell. But then I can wash my hair with bar soap and be happy.

    I think I can eat the 3.75 on that one in view of 119 quid……

  3. I think the only product where men maybe spend more than they should is cars, maybe.

    Women will pay a lot for well, packaging. You just have to read about the Mast Brothers.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/12/mast-brothers-chocolate-scandal

    Now, I don’t know about the claims, but I can well believe that someone could take a good chocolate (say, Green and Black’s), put it in the right pretty paper, in a pretty bag, in the right location, dress up the premises with pretentious artisanal shit and flog it for 3 times the normal price. Packaging is like catnip to a lot of women.

  4. View fromm the Solent

    Ian B –
    “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics”

    Richard P Feynman. Nobel prize in Physics 1965.

  5. @VFS – you beat me to it, I was going to say to Ian that “quantum mechanical effects are inexplicable even if you do understand physics”, but you found a much more authoritative source than just an ordinary old retired physicist.. 🙂

  6. And now a petition has been launched, urging the executive vice president of Boots, Simon Roberts, to ‘charge women fairly’ when it comes to like-for-like products.

    Tons of market research has gone into finding ways to charge more for the same product. If advertising didn’t work then there wouldn’t be a price difference for differently colored packaging. The “pink tax” is all about perceived value. The only solution is to actually teach people how to be a savvy consumer. Since that takes actual work the writer decided to go with the easy route blaming evil corporations.

  7. So lots of women like status-seeking and snobbery. That doesn’t mean they have to cram their “upmarket” choices into other peoples faces. In their heads they may just be telling themselves “I’m worth it”.

    But that is what happens. And business folk–including women who cater to this market are bad guys?

    This sounds akin to that evil clown Sanders and his “too many deodorants” shite.

    Once again we see that the extensive leftist presence and control of the media allow the same tripe to be repeated over and over–to become a moronic meme.

  8. “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics”

    It depends how deep you want to get into the philosophy. QM is about as explicable as most heavily mathematical stuff is. (Not always easily believable, but certainly explicable.) If you want to get right down to it, nothing is fully explicable.

    “I think the only product where men maybe spend more than they should is cars, maybe.”

    I suspect most people spend more than they should on most things – that’s what advertising is for. I don’t think en are immune. If you do, that probably means you’re more susceptible than most.

    Scott Adams explained how targeted advertising works in The Dilbert Principle:
    “A good advertising campaign is engineered to fit a precise audience. In particular, there is a huge distinction between what message works for men and what message works for women. Males are predictable creatures. That makes it easy to craft a marketing message that appeals to them. All successful advertising campaigns that target men include one of the following two messages: 1. This product will help you get dates with bikini models. 2. This product will save you time and money, which you’ll need if you want to date bikini models. Compared to simpleminded, brutish men, women are much more intricate and complex. Your advertising message must appeal to women’s greater range of intellectual interests and aesthetic preferences. Specifically, your message has to say this: 1. If you buy this product you’ll be a bikini model.”

  9. The Daily Mail is well-known for its attention-grabbing headlines. The mere word “tax” sets off readers and commentators like nothing before. The comedian Russell Howard got it right with “Asylum Seekers carry a new type of AIDS that lowers house prices”.

  10. It’d be nice if someone had checked the sums before publishing that.

    10 disposable razors for £4.25 does not make them 4p each.

    The total for the male products is £1.52 out and the total for the female products is £1.12.

  11. NiV,

    “I don’t think men are immune. If you do, that probably means you’re more susceptible than most.”

    I’m very good at grasping what buttons ads are pushing. I’m also well aware of how you get bikini models: be handsome, young, rich, in good shape. And as bonuses: dress well (good clothes, branding irrelevant), take her out to good restaurants (the places that don’t need to advertise), show her a good time.

  12. NiV,

    I should also add: I think cars are one of the few advertised products that may make a difference to getting pussy.

  13. That’s why I specifically wrote “quantum mechanical effects“. Which are explained by the theory of quantum mechanics.

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    I can think of two areas where men pay far more than they need to and far too often: golf and sailing.

  15. The sad thing about all this is that outside a few blog threads, nobody is going to even try to explain to the Harpies why they are wrong, and that it’s supply and demand curves and the consumers’ subjective value that sets the price, etc. Instead, there will be various apologies and then “we are reducing our prices on womens’ products” and so on.

  16. Ian B you can cut and paste the first line into almost every thread on this blog. The rest fits in most places as well with only a few words being changed.

  17. @BiND…

    I can think of two areas where men pay far more than they need to and far too often: golf and sailing.

    I do both… Yep, you’re probably right! 🙂

  18. The male equivalent is not cars, but Tools and Gadgets.

    You’d be surprised how much men tend to overpay for inferior or even non-existent quality in that department..

  19. “Indulge”, “Pamper”, “Treat yourself”, “spoil yourself” are all staples for copywriters addressing women. None of these terms suit standard products at budget prices.

    The “harpies” may well win (as they generally do) but the harpies themselves will be the only winners. The consumers will have forfeited a minor lifestyle pleasure.

  20. So the women are turned away at the checkout if they bring a pack of men’s disposable razors or is it the look of withering scorn on the shop assistant face that stops them.
    Typical control freak nobody should have a choice crap.

  21. I think the only product where men maybe spend more than they should is cars, maybe.

    Alcoholic products in general. Nothing like someone ordering an expensive rum and then pouring Coke into it to set off my “tosser” button. But plenty will pay over the odds for the “right” lager too. Or whisky’s that are actually nice, but they’re too drunk or stupid to be able to really tell the difference.

    Any shaving foam other than budget is paying for the smell. They’re all just soap and air.

    Sneakers.

    Private schools, when the local one is good. Most rich people live in rich suburbs (doh!) where the local school is just fine. For a lot it is about status, not educational value for money.

  22. BiND, Grikath, Chester,

    Yeah, maybe blokes are just as bad.

    Re: schools. I’m never sure about elite private schools like Eton, but I’m reasonably convinced that most of them are no better than a good comprehensive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *