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Josephine "Jo" Keating Swift, WWII WASP

Josephine "Jo" Keating Swift, in her flight suit, circa WWII

The M2W® team has just learned of the passing of Josephine “Jo” Keating Swift.  Jo and the 1500 other women who were members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, better known as the WASP, were honored with the inaugural M2W® First Woman Award during this year’s M2W®.  Her goddaughter, Drucilla Dence of Draftfcb, was on hand during the conference to accept the award on behalf of her godmother and the other WASPs.  “I feel so proud to have been there to receive the award on her behalf as she is truly one of the most amazing ladies I will ever have had the honor to have known,” said Dence.  “Her granddaughter posted a quote from Faith Whittlesey on her Facebook page that I’ve heard before but it’s so perfect for Jo… Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.”

“We were proud to honor Jo and all the WASP sof World War II.  She was an amazing woman and the world is certainly a bit brighter because she was a part of it,” said Nan McCann, president of PME® Enterprises, LLC, producers of M2W®.

Click here to read more about Josephine Keating Swift and the World War II WASPs.

According to a new Adweek Media/Harris Poll, if women could be granted one wish to change something about themselves they would choose to be richer or thinner.  In this poll, American adults were asked if they would most want to be richer, thinner, smarter, or younger, a large plurality (43%) professed that they would want to be richer, according to a recent Adweek Media/Harris Poll.  However, it appears men and women view these traits slightly differently.  Although just 14% of both men and women say they would choose to be smarter, that’s the only characteristic they agree on. More men say that they would choose to be richer (46%, compared to 41% of women), while 29% of women say that they would most want to be thinner, compared to just 14% of men who say the same. And while women may have the stereotype of lying about their age, 16% of men say they would most want to be younger, compared to just 8% of women who say the same.

Mary Lou Quinlan, CEO and Jen Drexler, Principal of Just Ask a Woman and co-authors of the recent book What She’s Not Telling You, see these results as evidence of women’s Half-Truth telling—a topic the Just Ask a Woman team spoke about during last year’s M2W®.  Quinlan observes, “While in public most women might claim the Half Truth that they’d prefer brains to money, the Whole Truth (especially in this economy), is that they’d like to be richer. With a little extra cash, they can always study their way to smarter or buy their way to thinner. It’s not politically correct but it’s honest.” Drexler weighs in, “Likewise, we’re not surprised that women chose being thinner above younger. Gen Y, X and Boomer women don’t necessarily want to “be” younger or sacrifice the wisdom that comes with age. They want to “feel” and “look” younger which is often equated to a mythical or real time when they felt happiest with their weight. Leave it to women to find a way to have their cake and eat it too!”

SheKnows, an agency that often sends its executives to M2W® and is a sponsor of this year’s M2Moms®-The Marketing To Moms Conference, has announced the launch of a new online video series called SheKnows ChatPack.  The show’s panel consists of four women discussing different aspects of their lives and giving advice to viewers about the latest topics on parenting, finance, health and more. The ChatPackers will be joined by an expert in the field relevant to each week’s topic, such as beauty, fitness, travel, love & romance, and will give first-hand tips and advice in regard to services and products that are in the audience’s best interest.   To give SheKnows users the chance to get to know the ChatPack women and experts on a more personal level, the ChatPack hub will have profiles pages for each individual consisting of bios and photo galleries. The SheKnows ChatPack hub will also feature content relevant to the video topics and offer giveaways for its viewers.   “The goal of the SheKnows ChatPack series is to create a conversation among these four women for the audience to connect with on a personal level,” said Kyle Cox, vice president, general manager of SheKnows. “This video series, coupled with the site’s extensive supplemental articles and bios, will make the ChatPackers tastemakers among women for everything relating to parenting, finance and health, and more.”

The ChatPack series went live with three episodes on August 12th and will debut two more to follow every other week after. Each episode will be approximately between three to six minutes in length and users will be able to comment on each video and share them with their friends.

The General Motors Women’s Retail Network is launching a scholarship program to encourage women to consider a career in automotive retail.  The GM Women’s Retail Network Dealer Development Scholarship is intended for women who are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and non-traditional educational institutions that offer degrees in the automotive retail field.  Several scholarships worth up to $5,000 each will be available beginning in 2011.  “GM was the first automaker in the industry to establish a program to actively recruit women into the automotive retail field as part of our efforts to increase the number of women dealers in our network,” said Marina Shoemaker, director, GM Women’s Retail Network.  GM hopes this scholarship program might help influence more women to consider careers as general/executive managers or owner/operators of a GM dealership.

“It’s a well-known fact that women influence the majority of automotive purchasing decisions, which is creating more career opportunities for women in automotive retailing,” said Karen Miskimins, of Hardin Chevrolet in Hardin, Mont., and a member of the GM Women’s Dealer Advisory Council.  “We’re excited about being able to help women further their education in this area so they’re prepared to walk through the doors that are being opened to them.”

Suave is heading to the Emmy® Awards with nominated actress Sofia Vergara from “Modern Family” fame.  In an effort to promote their Suave Professionals line of products, the brand has created a Facebook page that not only allows consumers to choose the best red carpet look for Vergara, but shows them how to achieve each look on their own by viewing special step-by-step videos featuring Suave Professionals Celebrity Hairstylist, Jenny Cho.  After voting for their favorite look, visitors are automatically entered to win a red carpet “swag bag” and have the chance to attend this year’s awards show for a day of VIP pampering.  Sofia’s entire award show look—the dress and the Suave Professionals products used to create the winning look—will be auctioned by the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation to benefit children’s charities across the globe.

A new study from CareOne Debt Relief Services has found some interesting statistics regarding women and debt:

  • 45% of women seeking debt relief assistance have more than $50,000 in household debt, this is up from 33% just two years ago.
  • The increase in debt greater than $50,000 touched all regions of the country. But four states – Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington – saw more than a 50% increase in the number of CareOne customers with more than $50,000 in debt.
  • More women from upper income households are seeking debt assistance. CareOne has seen a 38% increase in the portion of women seeking debt assistance with an annual household income greater than $60,000.
  • The percentage of widowed and divorced women seeking assistance has risen dramatically over the last two years, while the share of single and separated women seeking help has declined.
  • Women who are retired or nearing retirement are more likely to seek debt relief assistance now than before the recession, while a smaller share of younger women are seeking help.

What can marketers learn from this study?  “The recent recession has impacted almost every family in the country, placing a particular burden on women who traditionally manage a family’s savings” said Jenny Realo, executive vice president and chief product officer for CareOne Services, Inc. “As a result, we have seen a drastic shift in the kinds of people reaching out for help in managing their debt.”

Mercedes and LexusWomen-Drivers.com, a consumer review website that connects women to women-friendly car dealerships, recently released its semi-annual 2010 report showing the top auto brands as rated by women’s dealership reviews.  The report was created by tracking thousands of consumer reviews with regards to a woman’s purchasing, browsing and service experience at car dealerships throughout the U.S.  Top five overall brands of excellence include Mercedes, Jeep, Lexus, BMW and Chrysler.  Other categories and their top five honorees (a complete list is available at www.women-drivers.com)

Top 5 Brands for Purchasing Experience
Mercedes and Dodge (tied for first)
Lexus
Chrysler
KIA
Jeep

Top 5 Brands for Browsing Experience
Mercedes
Mazda
Nissan
KIA
Jeep

Top 5 Brands for Service Experience
Acura
BMW and Mercedes (tied for second)
Honda
Chrysler
Lexus

“Car manufacturers and dealerships that highly engage and support women during the purchase process are placing themselves in a strong position to convert more browsers to buyers, and, to get more referrals—all translating to increased sales. Credit the top performing brands; clearly these companies and dealerships are doing a great job with customer engagement “, says Anne Fleming, president & car buying advocate of the Women-Drivers.com.

Woman using computerAccording to a new comScore study, Women on the Web:  How Women are Shaping the Internet, social networking sites reach a higher percentage of women than men globally, with 75.8 percent of all women online visiting a social networking site in May 2010 versus 69.7 percent of men.  Additionally, women demonstrate higher levels of engagement with social networking sites than men. Although women account for 47.9 percent of total unique visitors to the social networking category, they consume 57 percent of pages and account for nearly 57 percent of total minutes spent on these sites. Women spend significantly more time on social networking sites, averaging 5.5 hours per month, demonstrating the strong engagement that women across the globe share with social sites.

Additional highlights from the study:

  • Although men are in the majority across the global Internet, women spend about 8 percent more time online, averaging 25 hours per month on the Web.
  • Globally, women spend 20 percent more time on Retail sites overall than men.
  • In the U.S., women are more avid online buyers than men, with 12.5 percent of female Internet users making an online purchase in February 2010, compared to 9.3 percent of men.
  • Health sites show some of the largest overall differences in reach between female and male, with a nearly 6-point gap between global women and men.
  • In both the U.S. and Europe, smartphone usage is dominated by men with both markets experiencing close to a 60/40 split in smartphone adoption between the genders.

Nancy PelosiSpeaker Nancy Pelosi will participate in a “Keynote Conversation” with NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker at Women at NBCU’s “Power of the Purse” breakfast on Tuesday, September 28. The breakfast, to be hosted by Lauren Zalaznick, president of NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, is themed “Women In Power: Marketing To The Educated Consumer” and is an official part of Advertising Week in New York.

Zucker will conduct a Q&A with Pelosi, focusing on her role as arguably the most powerful woman in America, as well as her perspective on the state of women today. Following their discussion, Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of the Paley Center, will moderate a panel on a similar theme, focusing on how businesses should approach today’s smart and savvy female consumer. The panel will feature several high-ranking women and experts, including founder and editor-in chief of The Daily Beast, Tina Brown; Donna Speciale, president of Investment and Activation at Media Vest USA; and Kim Brink, the executive director Advertising and Sales Promotion at Cadillac.

“I am very excited to host such a powerful line-up at Women at NBCU’s upcoming event. Today’s woman plays numerous roles, from career-builder to mom to chief household officer. Speaker Pelosi is a prime example.  I look forward to hearing her insights for marketers, as well as a dynamic panel discussion with experts from a diverse range of sectors,” says Zalaznick.

Stephanie OCongratulations to one of last year’s M2W®-HC™ speakers, Stephanie Ouyoumjian, for being promoted to executive vice president of Publicis Dallas.  Recognized as a leading expert on marketing to women, Stephanie won great praise from the audiences of both M2W®-HC™ and M2W® regarding her presentation on creating a ‘passion brand’—showing us the perfect equation for turning consumer attitudes into action.  Stephanie joined Publicis Dallas in 2006 and successfully guided strategies planning and research for some of the best-known, worldwide brands.  She will continue to direct strategy for all Publicis Dallas clients, but will now also be part of the executive team leading and managing the integrated marketing communications office.

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