Adrants' Steve Hall made me aware of these appalling promotions that were sent in an invitation e-mail to VentureBeat's Jolie O'Dell in advance of the Consumer Electronics Association's annual International CES trade show.
Her public response is worth repeating:
Voco, I regret to inform you that I will be unable to visit your CES booth this year. I moreover regret that I will never review, recommend, or use your products, no matter how interesting and innovative they are. I most deeply regret that you don’t have enough respect for me to put yourself on my level and look at the world and your ads through my or anyone else’s eyes.
I regret that the only consumer or reviewer you care about reaching is the man who likes women’s disembodied sexy-parts. I regret that you don’t know any men who think women’s brains are sexy, too.
I regret that you didn’t have a woman on your leadership team with the authority to nix these ads as the irrelevant smut they are. I regret that you’ll probably pass the buck to Dirk Marketing for designing the ads, and also that Dirk Marketing doesn’t employ strong women in leadership roles.
I regret that not enough little girls in my kindergarten class took an interest in technology and went to college to study computer science and flooded the tech industry, making this kind of marketing out of the question.
I regret that the only women you think this industry can relate to are a smattering of tarted-up body parts — not even a whole person, not even a whole face.
Voco is a voice-control technology company trying to make it in an extremely competitive market.
Ms. O'Dell is an extremely influential tech writer with connections to Mashable, ReadWriteWeb and mainstream media.