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‘Sex and the City’ sells in Asia

The Associated Press
Friday September 20, 2002

BANGKOK, Thailand — It’s in the running for several Emmys on Sunday. But “Sex and the City” has long been on a winning streak with viewers — and not only in the United States. 

In Asia, the HBO comedy series is a smash hit among young professionals, despite (or maybe thanks to) its going against the region’s traditional ideas of womanhood. And, for retailers and fashion houses, it’s become a golden marketing tool to lure the show’s affluent audience. 

HBO claims a modest viewership of 4 million in 19 Asian countries and gives no figures for the number of people who watch “Sex and the City.” 

But the companies riding on the back of the show’s popularity realize that its viewers are a powerful segment of consumers — well-to-do, single, professional women with spare cash to spend on themselves, just like the show’s heroines. 

During the just-completed season, HBO teamed up with fashion and cosmetic companies in Bangkok and Manila to organize a series of fashion shows. “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker’s image was plastered across Bangkok billboards and buses.