Oppenheimer uses PR to tell women to stop buying shoes and start saving

NEW YORK: Oppenheimer-Funds last week used the allure of Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw to enliven the results of a survey on the financial planning attitudes of 'Generation X' women.

NEW YORK: Oppenheimer-Funds last week used the allure of Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw to enliven the results of a survey on the financial planning attitudes of 'Generation X' women.

Apparently, many women are showing signs of 'Carrie Bradshaw Syndrome' when it comes to their finances.

The survey examined attitudes of 401 single women. In keeping with

Bradshaw's well-documented addiction to Manolo Blahniks, it revealed

that 54% say they are likely to acquire 30 pairs of shoes before saving

dollars 30,000 towards their retirement.

The mutual funds company chose a PR route rather than advertising,

developing the survey together with Third Millennium, a nonprofit run by

young adults that tackles a range of social issues, and The Sutra

Foundation, which focuses on helping young women get control of their

money.

In spite of the lighthearted tone, the company takes the issues very

seriously, not least because OppenheimerFunds' chairman and CEO Bridget Macaskill, is a woman. 'She has put her personal interest and weight into this,' said Rob Densen, director of corporate affairs.

'This is not a marketing conceit for us,' Densen continued. 'It is a

public welfare issue and the most effective way to call attention to it

is with PR.'

Collateral material has been developed including brochures for financial

advisors. 'We are hopeful of working with others to build a curriculum

around this,' Densen said.

Oppenheimer Funds has sent out the full survey in its media pack. 'We

don't just give out the publicity, but the source data too.'

Coverage so far has been in financial trades, such as Financial Advisor

magazine, and a feature was to appear in yesterday's New York Times.

Carrie Bradshaw Syndrome

- 54% said they are more likely to buy 30 pairs of shoes before saving

dollars 30,000 towards retirement

- 50% said at this time in life, money is for spending, not for

saving

- 39% are upset with the amount of money they save

- 57% said they talk about family and relationships most frequently,

only 16% talk about money

- 75% said it was important for them to look successful.

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