Public relations people often pitch products to bloggers like me. Most PR pitches tout harmless products, which I ignore. Until now.

Today a PR company sent me a ridiculous and financially harmful message. These PR people want you to shred your unpaid credit card statements to ignore creditors, to hide consumer debt, and to keep spending. Just buy their paper shredder (it’s only $69.99) and all “evidence” of your over indulgent “retail therapy” can be destroyed and hidden “out of sight”. I $hit you not. These people are serious.

Squawkfox Picture: Mocking the financial advice of a PR pitch


Here’s the email:

Start out the new year by shredding out the old!

Dear Fox,

What could be a better way to start off the New Year? By shredding out the old!

As we approach the New Year and continue to navigate an ecomony [sic] that forbids the kind of retail therapy we women enjoy, many of us are looking to start off fresh. Depending on how budget-conscious one was in 2008, starting anew may require getting rid of sticky pasts.

[Company Name] has the perfect new product to accomplish such a task: the [Product Name]. It comes in red and silver and shreds up to eight sheets at a time. Best of all, its handle and compact size allows aesthetically-minded users to stow away the shredder with ease once all evidence of indulgences has been destroyed, thus keeping bills, credit card statements and receipts out of sight.

Not to mention, shredding is recommended as a key measure to prevent identity theft. Even during this economic crisis, we still need a little retail fix here and there, and now we can do it sans evidence!

For a product sample please contact Justine. The [Product Name] is available for $69.99 at [Company Name] stores and online.


Yes ladies, with your credit card statements “out of sight” you are free to “start fresh” with some retail therapy, despite the economic crisis. Hiding the evidence is the key to spending success splendor. Don’t fret your pretty face on financial frivolity since this shredder is “aesthetically” pleasing and matches your pricey pumps.

Fox’s response:

Dear Justine,

Did you write this poorly spelled sexist crap?

I am horrified by your shred it and financially forget it mentality towards credit card bills. Women (and men) have financial and legal obligations to pay their creditors. Besides, unpaid credit cards rack up big interest debt fast!

Do you know about Credit Scores? Those pesky bad FICO scores can determine who gets approved for loans and mortgages. Not paying your shredded bills is a sure fire path to bankruptcy and foreclosure. You can’t hide your financial woes in a paper shredder.


Do be smart about spending this holiday:

  • Do pay your credit card bills.
  • Do be aware of media messages.
  • Do spell “economy” correctly.
  • Don’t be a Justine.

Are you horrified by this financially foul PR product pitch?