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And Now, This Message on 'Booth Babes'

For years, I've despised the so-called booth-babe phenomenon, in which vendors hire women to stand at their booths in skimpy attire at conferences. I've focused on what I see at security events, but the problem is universal.

If you want to know how I feel about it, read this Salted Hash write-up from a couple years ago. 

For the rest of this post, I direct your attention to this message from two individuals who want to see change.

In their post, "It's Time To Start A New Dialogue - Saying Goodbye to Booth Babes, Once And For ALL," the writers -- Zenobia Godschalk, CEO of ZAG Communications, and Dr. Chenxi Wang, VP of Market Intelligence at Intel Security -- declare that booth babes are not only an insult to women, but also a tactic used by marketing departments who lack the creativity and product to attract people to their booths otherwise.

From the post:

Because so much of the (RSA) conference this year was devoted to issues like government surveillance, nation state threats, mass data theft, and the un-RSA conference threatened to unseat the incumbent, booth babes seemed like the furthest thing from anyone's mind. But still, we had them galore. 

In between discussions of exploits and Big Data, a teen beauty queen was trotted out to sign autographs; Jane Doe here handed out data sheets from her skin-tight bustier, and mystery woman there displayed her acrobatic skills in barely-there fabric before the demo went underway. 

All of which made the implication that, for those companies that chose to do so, the promotion of their technologies/products was not possible without scantily-clad women, it feels like a cruel insult to the efforts of the men and women who worked hard to create, build, Q/A, and demo the product.

My friends, I couldn't agree more.

I also think Debbie Rosen of Sonatype nailed it when she said this:

Putting in the most tolerant light, this behavior is a lazy way of marketing. This happens when you do not have any creative or otherwise more positive ways of getting attention.

Read the entire blog post and be enlightened. It's time for the tech industry to grow up.