This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, January 17, 2002. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You know, there are hundreds of companies that would sell their souls for product placement in a TV show. But what if your product were bashed on one of the trendiest shows ever made?
My next guest was watching HBO and to his horror, Sex and the City's character, Carrie Bradshaw, started bashing his shoes, denying that she ever owned a pair. His response: Well, he's here today to share it with us, Candie's CEO, Neil Cole. Neil, good to have you.
NEIL COLE, CEO, CANDIE'S: Thank you.
CAVUTO: I like your response. You put out a letter in Woman's Wear Daily and it's going to have tongue-in-cheek fun with this. But, tell me essentially what you said?
COLE: Basically, we just thought that Carrie probably actually did wear Candie's. One out of every three girls in America wore Candie's, 14 million. And we just felt she is such the Candie's girl. So we felt that she was denying her heritage and we though we'd have great fun with it and it was good to be on such a great fashion show like Sex and the City.
CAVUTO: Yes, but it's such a trendy show, and, more or less, you have one of the main characters saying, oh that's gush.
COLE: Yes, but the main character is also into Manolo Blahnik and she wears $4-500 shoes. Our product sells for about $50. And it was kind of flattering in its own way. And the buzz was just amazing. The phones were ringing the next day and we feel it's going to be great for business.
CAVUTO: I don't know much about your shoes. I just know that some of them are pretty big, right? Physically big shoes, right?
COLE: They're pretty high-heeled.
CAVUTO: All right. So their concern was that, you know, maybe some people look like Olive Oyl in them, right?
COLE: No. They are very sexy, Neil. I think...
CAVUTO: Hey, hey, hey, by the way, I've seen your models. I'm not denying that. But were you concerned that in a back-handed way, the company was really dissing you?
COLE: I believe that publicity, especially on a show like that when you get millions and millions of young consumers watching is great for our business. So I think it was done in a flattering way. Actually, Sanford, who probably knows better, told Carrie she did wear Candie's. And, I think Carrie will probably admit it, that she did wear Candie's and I really didn't think, we didn't...
CAVUTO: Yes, but maybe you don't want to be associated with a show like this. It's all about promiscuous sex and, you know, everyone's running around and fooling around. You don't want to be associated with that, do you?
COLE: Unfortunately or fortunately, sex sells. And we, you know, as a heritage, we've always tried to have a little sexiness to our product, although lately we're really championed the course of prevention of teen pregnancy. And...
CAVUTO: Yes, but your shoes are sexy.
COLE: It's OK to be sexy as long as you don't have sex at a young age.
CAVUTO: Yes, but it's a conflict, right? I mean, you have these sexy shoes that make women look hot. And then you're saying, well, don't go too far.
COLE: Yet we're also saying when you are young, you shouldn't have — you should be responsible and you should understand the risks and consequences of having sex. It's a dilemma for a young woman, her sexuality and making sure she doesn't ruin her life. So while it's OK to be sexy, it doesn't mean you should ruin your life and have sex, let along unprotected sex.
CAVUTO: I don't know, Neil. I'm just trying to keep my daughter like in a knapsack if I can. But thank you very much, Neil Cole. I appreciate it.
COLE: Thank you, Neil.
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