Poor Oprah Winfrey. On the heels of more bad news for her struggling network OWN comes a survey showing Americans aren't quite ready to immortalize her on a U.S. coin anytime soon. Rosa Parks was Americans’ female first choice, with 34 percent in favor, according to a survey today from Mindshare North America in honor of Women's History Month. Oprah trailed at fourth place, with 9 percent.
The renowned civil rights heroine also beat out former First Lady Betty Ford, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who all ranked in the top five.
Asked who are the best role models for young people today, respondents picked Taylor Swift as No. 1, followed by Kate Middleton and Ellen DeGeneres, who recently made headlines when the conservative group One Million Moms protested JCPenney's decision to pick the openly gay star as its spokesperson. The retailer won a number of new—and younger—fans when it staunchly stood by its new spokeswoman, going so far as to line up a number of Oscar spots for the talk show doyenne. Accordingly, the survey showed that DeGeneres was particularly popular with young women ages 18 to 29.
The Mindshare survey also illustrated the love-hate relationship women have for social media. While women ages 18 to 29 check social media daily—63 percent multitask by using social media while watching TV—64 percent of the same demo said they're concerned about the impact of social media on today’s youths. In addition, nearly half of the women surveyed over the age of 18 said they believe social networking sites “dilute the quality of human interaction.”
Antony Young, CEO of Mindshare North America, said this dichotomy illustrates the strong attachment women have to social media.
“Most interestingly for advertisers, the survey illuminates the true passion and engagement women have with social media,” he said in a statement, “underscoring the great opportunity for marketers to reach a female audience.”
The Mindshare survey of 1,041 adult men and women took place on Feb. 27, meaning that Oprah's recent decision to kill Rosie O'Donnell's Rosie show and fire 30 staffers from OWN after lower-than-expected first-season ratings weren't factors in the results.
Whether Winfrey would still rank as one of the top five women to adorn U.S. currency is anyone's guess.