Category Archives: Bzz Agent

The Lady Vanishes – Vanish Oxi Action, in Action…

Vanish Project


I’ve been doing some more bzzagenting. This time the product on trial is Vanish Oxi action. I have used Vanish before, normally in bar form, this is the first time I have tried the powder. A couple of weeks ago I found a shirt in the bin, being thrown away due to a curry stain. It had been through the wash once but the stain was still there, but knowing the Vanish was on its way I retrieved it.  The day came to try it out, admittedly not an entirely fair test as the item had been washed so I guess the stain may have ‘set’. The Vanish came with an instruction manual, for curry the advice was to make a paste with the powder and rub it in with the back of the scoop. this is left for a while and then the shirt is washed adding more powder and your normal detergent to the wash.

I may have misinterpreted the add to the wash instruction. I put Vanish and then some of my regular Ecover liquid in the same dispenser. Perhaps I should have added the Vanish to the drum. after the initial soak with the powder paste, things had been looking good. However, once the shirt came out of the wash there was still a stain evident. I didn’t fully appreciate why until I went to do my next wash, the Vanish + Ecover mix had formed a solid lump in the dispenser.

I dried and ironed the shirt, sorry that the lighting conditions were not the same in the final picture. However, the shirt has been declared fit to wear again and I will give it a second go with the Vanish, this time adding the powder to the prewash or to the drum.

I would use the product again. Later in the week I used it to clean cloths that I had used for dyeing the leather sofa and they have come up well, still muddy looking but certainly not mahogany brown.


Stinky Pits? – Vaseline Compressed – Bzz Report



I am a Bzz agent... sounds exciting (maybe), well it is quite nice; I get sent free samples of stuff to try and the condition is that I let people know what I think of the products. The current gig is Vaseline’s new compact deodorant. So here’s the Bzz from Unilever ….

  • Lasts just as long with less packaging
  • Delivers even better protection than your old Vaseline can
  • Perfect size for your handbag
  • More environmentally friendly – it’s easy being green!

My view:

– well yes you can see from the pic above it’s smaller than your average deodorant aerosol – that green thing is a standard coffee coaster, made from an old circuit board.  I can only assume that it does use less packaging and propellant gas – smart move on their part as well as being less environmentally damaging I assume the lower price of materials will cover the development costs over time.

– I don’t normally use Vaseline, or Sure or any other aerosol. I’m normally a roll-on person and my preference is actually for PitROK or a similar neutral product.  So I can’t qualify if it offers better protection than other cans. I do know it smells more.  I’m not used to smelling of deodorant and the fact the smell is there hours later when you get hot again is unusual.

– Yes I agree it’s small, not as small as a roll-on. The Bzz guide suggests you leave it out for people to notice when you are at the gym etc. I tried – can’t say anyone was bothered to be honest and I will keep doing so while the product lasts (I have two free samples). However, my general thought is that aerosols are antisocial beasts, the whole changing room does not want to share your spray. Whilst it is fairly ‘targeted’ in action it still spreads a smell a lot further than a roll-on would.

– More environmentally friendly? Discuss. I had an interesting twitter chat with someone when I mentioned the product. They said they would never use a Vaseline product. I assumed it was a Unilever/big corporate issue. But no, they assumed it had petroleum jelly in it. So I took a look at the product list for it and PitROK – Here is my compare and contrast….



Vaseline PitROK
Aluminium chlorate Ammonium Alum
Parfum Parfum
Disteardimonium Hectorite  
Propylene Carbonate  
Helianthus Annus Seed Oil Citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract
Lecithin Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice   Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
Citric Acid  
Potassium Sorbate Potassium Sorbate
Sodium Benzoate Sodium Benzoate
Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone Polysorbate 20
Amyl Cinnamal 3-diol
Benzyl Benzoate 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1
Benzyl Sallicylate Phenoxyethanol
Citronellol Citronellol
Limonene Limonene
Linalool Linalool
  Hydroxymethylpentylcyclohexene carboxaldehyde


I’ve done my best to line up similar ingredients but it’s not easy. I checked both products’ websites, both a bit vague – Vaseline refer to “Pro derma” – Hmm, what is that and what the heck are the rest for?  I can see that some are propellants and I get that ‘The Law’ says that the perfumes even natural oils have to have their chemical names but it would be great if the websites said something like “Limonene – extracted from lemons, used for fragrance ——- if that’s the case; or Butane – propellant” etc. I would love the companies to add their ‘What the chemicals do’ comments.

Will I use Vaseline compact after the trial samples are used up?  Unlikely, unless I think I’m going somewhere where I’ll get very hot and don’t care if people can smell my perfume over the smell of the deodorant; plus I’m unconvinced by the ecology argument – better than a big spray possibly but not better than a roll-on.

Unilever are now advertising several compact deodorants on the TV – what do you think?

Latham’s Dog Food – Bzz Report

It's in there somewhere....

I was quite pleased when the chance of a Bzz Agent package on dog food came along, including free samples, money off vouchers and voucher codes to pass on.  Twitter followers will know of #OKDoggy, she of the early morning walks. OKDoggy has not had that much variety in her food over the years having survived well on dry rations and water all her life with the excitement of cheese rind and ham off cuts when sandwiches are being made.

Latham’s is a dry food, and according to the blurb “wholesome, hypo-allergenic veterinarian approved dog food tailored to meet the differing needs, different breeds, sizes and ages of dogs. Our natural recipes will keep your dog in tip-top condition; they are rich in meat and contain no added artificial colours or preservatives and are free from ingredients, such as wheat, soy and dairy.” You would have thought this would equate to right up my lane. Part of the campaign is obviously about the fact that Tesco are now stocking it – to me that is no advantage I can obtain OKDoggy’s current food in the local co-op and get there on my bike but nil desperandum I asked a friend to collect some for me.

As advised I mixed a little with her existing food. She carefully avoided the Latham’s. I kept this up leaving the food down until she had eaten it all including the stuff she didn’t like. At no point did she develop an interest in the Latham’s only eating it once she was really hungry. If I did the dirty on her and buried her old food under the new food she became a miner, digging down to find the old stuff (see above).

So sorry Latham’s no switch over going to happen here. I’m also sorry that I failed to complete this before the end of the campaign but it has been slow progress.

I am also now suffering from petfood social conscience I did a bit of digging around. It seems Latham’s is actually a Tesco brand that they have developed to pitch against the like of Iams. It also transpires that OKDoggy’s current food is by Purina aka Nestle – the one saving grace is that there is a Suffolk connection, her dog bowl smells just like Sudbury where the local Purina factory is located. The whole multinational conglomerate status of these companies can tie you in knots at times.

Shell V – Bzz and Potholes

A heart shaped pothole

Not the pothole that caused the problem

It is unfortunate that during the whole of the Shell V Bzz campaign I have only had my PC for a few days.  However, I am not sure that this can be the only reason I haven’t talked about it much.  The thing is; yes I like my car and yes I drive, indeed in the recent bad weather I have driven more often than normal.  However, I don’t really talk ‘car’.  To me it is a box of tricks on wheels; I take seats out, put things in and go places. I even drive long distances, but rarely on motorways and most of my day to day driving is in potholed lanes.

The potholes have caused problems in the last week.  I drove into one and the tyre just burst, you could hear the air rush out. I reported it to Suffolk County Council.  Then O/H had exactly the same thing happen, so I phoned back with a grid reference.  Guess what – – – – They’ve repaired it.

Back to the Shell V fuel, did it make a difference?  The £20.00 for vouchers, certainly did.  To be fair I would say the ride was smoother, the car was bowling along quite nicely, especially on longer, smoother journeys.  There were no starting problems, even in the coldest of weathers.  On balance I will continue to use the ‘V’ fuel, when I am near enough to a Shell station to fill up.

For those with Spotify – here is some music to go with the post.

Bzz Agent

For those with Spotify – Here is a link to accompany this blog post.

It feels like a very long time ago that I signed up to be a Bzz Agent. The basic idea; you get free samples, vouchers etc for products. As you try the products you talk to people about them (good or bad) and then log the fact that you had a conversation on the Bzz Agent site ~ you always make people aware that you are a Bzz Agent. The more reports you complete, to their expected standard, the higher a level you attain and the better and earlier the campaigns you are offered. Months after I first registered I had some dried fruits, later a razor and then there has been nothing for months until today. Today I received information about Shell ‘V’. I don’t have a performance car so not the sort of thing I would normally think about. I live 11 miles from the nearest Shell station so it is not likely to be my first choice under normal circumstances. I tend to ride my bike more often than I drive, but when I do drive it is long distances. Today I happened to be near a Shell station and so I fuelled up. Watch this space I’ll let you know if my life has been revolutionised.

The whole Bzz Agent thing always reminds me of a book I read called ‘Soft’ – If you like thrillers, where the interface between marketing and science can go bad, this could be the book for you; I still have a warped sense of the power of orange as a colour and an aversion to orange fizzy drinks as a result of reading Rupert Thomson’s book.

For those who have not met it before, the shell in the picture above is ‘Scallop’ by Maggi Hambling, it has a Marmite effect, people either love it or hate it.

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