AICPA banking on pig to get people to save money

WASHINGTON: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Ad Council have launched a multimedia ad and PR push to encourage young adults to save more money.

WASHINGTON: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Ad Council have launched a multimedia ad and PR push to encourage young adults to save more money.

Called "Feed the Pig," the TV, radio, print, and Web campaign features an adult-sized pig named Benjamin Bankes who wears a pink suit, walks on his hind legs, and is intended to remind the approximately 40 million 24- to 34-year-olds in the US of the virtues of saving, via piggy banks or otherwise. Many within the target group carry excessive credit-card debt or otherwise fail to save more money than they spend, the AICPA said.

PSAs and PR efforts for this latest campaign are designed to direct the target audience to feedthepig. org, a Web site that provides free financial planning information, noted Louise Hraur DeSina, AICPA's director of communications and PR.

"This particular target audience has been on the Internet most of their lives, so all the PSAs are intended to drive them to the Internet site," DeSina said.

Some 900 CPA "ambassadors," who have worked with the AICPA on a related, ongoing national effort, 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, will also assist with public and media outreach through speaking events across the US and local-media interviews. Qorvis Communications is assisting on media outreach for an SMT, which launched October 25.

Anne Sittmann, AICPA's director of media relations, said targeted media include both national consumer and trade titles, local newspapers, and broadcast outlets around the country.

Messaging may change over time, depending on how effective the effort is judged through such metrics as surveys and Web hits.

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