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Survey reveals Americans prefer Rosa Parks to Oprah as face on U.S. coin

20 March, 2012


New Mindshare Survey in Honor of Women’s History Month Provides Insights into Women’s Role in Society

NEW YORK — Americans would pick civil rights heroine Rosa Parks over TV superstar Oprah Winfrey to appear as the face on a U.S. coin, according to a new survey from Mindshare North America.

The survey also revealed that social media plays a significant role in the everyday lives of women aged 18-29 and as such represents an opportunity for marketers seeking to target that demographic group.

In honor of Women’s History Month, GroupM media services agency Mindshare surveyed 1,041 adult men and women 18 years of age and over on current topics relating to women.

When asked to select from a list of women to appear on a U.S. coin, an overwhelming majority of 34 percent of respondents chose Parks, followed by former First Lady Betty Ford with 20 percent, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with 19 percent, and Winfrey at nine percent. Former Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor rounded out the top five spots with seven percent of the vote.

The online survey also asked Americans to choose a positive female role model for today’s young people. Country/Pop superstar Taylor Swift ranked at the top of the poll with 35 percent of the vote while Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, ranked second with 23 percent. Garnering 12 percent was Ellen DeGeneres, who made headlines recently with certain groups objecting to her representing the JC Penney brand. The survey found that Ms. DeGeneres was particularly popular with young women 18-29 (16 percent).

This survey was conducted on Mindshare’s behalf by The Toluna Global Omnibus Company on February 27, 2012.

Other survey findings included the following:

The majority of Americans believe that women today have the best opportunities to “have it all” than ever before (79 percent)

Men and women differ on the topic of equal pay in the workplace with 44 percent of men saying they agreed with the statement men and women are paid the same in the workforce, while 47 percent of women disagreed with the statement

Thirty-four percent of the respondents agreed that media outlets portray women unfavorably.

The survey also revealed findings on women’s habits and activities with social media, reporting that 63 percent of women aged 18-29 check social media sites while watching TV, and 44 percent of women aged 18-29 agreed that social media is the primary place they learn about breaking news.

Despite their heavy usage, women aged 18-29 worry about the implications of social media on today’s youth (64 percent), and 49 percent of women 18-plus believe social networking sites dilute the quality of human interaction.

“This survey yielded some intriguing findings regarding perceptions of women in today’s culture among both men and women,” said Antony Young, CEO of Mindshare North America. “Most interestingly for advertisers, the survey illuminates the true passion and engagement women have with social media, underscoring the great opportunity for marketers to reach a female audience.”

Mindshare is a global media and marketing services network with billings in excess of $27.8 billion (source: RECMA). The network consists of 115 offices in 82 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, each dedicated to forging competitive marketing advantage for businesses and their brands. Mindshare is part of GroupM, which oversees the media investment management sector for WPP, the world’s leading communications services group.

GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation. It serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare. Our primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media communications agencies on behalf of our clients, our stakeholders and our people by operating as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. The agencies that comprise GroupM are all global operations in their own right with leading market positions. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of physical and intellectual scale to benefit trading, innovation, and new communication services, to bring competitive advantage to our clients and our companies.

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