Press Release: CPA Videos Are Funny But Their Message Is No Laughing Matter

Pennsylvania CPA image campaign goes viral for the first time

PHILADELPHIA - What do an '80s anti-drug commercial, Bigfoot, a rose, and bad shopping habits have in common? They are all part of Pennsylvania Institute of CPA's (PICPA) new CPA image enhancement video campaign. The first of the four videos mimics the well-known anti-drug public service announcement from the 1980s, "I Learned it by Watching You." The second is a take-off on the many sci-fi documentaries made by seekers of mythical creatures- Is It Real? The next video is a spin on "The Bachelorette"-our version is " America's Top Bachelorette"-and the final installment is a spin on "What Not to Wear"-"What Not to Spend." While CPAs and CPA-related topics are rarely described as entertaining or funny, the new campaign - the first of its kind for a CPA association - pushes past the public's typical view of the CPA profession and, through humor, points consumers to excellent online financial resources.

According to Leon Dutkiewicz, CPA, chair of PICPA's CPA Image Enhancement Committee, "Many CPAs will tell you that our profession is typically viewed as technical and serious. We wanted consumers to know that we're also creative and engaging. These videos reach audiences who spend time online, and the medium takes us outside the typical `CPA Box.'"

PICPA will use its membership of more than 19,000 CPAs across Pennsylvania to start the spread of the videos to their friends, family, and clients. Some firms have even included the videos in their company newsletters.

"An online campaign allows us to leverage our members and the contacts that they may have. The goal is that our networks will find these entertaining and worthwhile to forward on, leaving the videos to take on a life of their own," Dutkiewicz says.

Each video leads consumers to IneedaCPA.org. The page has many free resources, including those for tax season, financial planning, and teaching children about money. Banner ads, another piece of the image campaign, will appear on targeted Web sites all over the state promoting those same resources through April 18.