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A debate about booth babes

Aug 05, 20113 mins
Data and Information Security

My post suggesting vendors stop using booth babes to get attention hit a nerve yesterday. Here is some of the feedback, as delivered via Twitter.

I won’t say much more here. My opinion from yesterday stands. Vendors should attract people on the strength of their product, not by exploiting women. Someone said those women are well paid and chose to do the job. I agree. I’m not calling them out as victims. And if they choose to dress that way on a daily basis I say more power to them. Someone also asked if I realized Black Hat was in Las Vegas. What did I expect? But yesterday’s post was not strictly about Black Hat. I see the booth babes at almost every security conference.

Enough about my view, though. Here’s what others had to say…

“I think that if “Half naked chicks” is your main draw on the floor perhaps you should work on product innovation or stay home.” @Corum

“If this is “in poor taste”, then why even come to Vegas at all? The women at my hotel are dressed the same way … I personally think this whole topic is basically a distraction … I mean, do you go to cons for vendor booths? Those women make good money and chose to dress that way. They aren’t sad …” @awilsong

Adds @csoandy: “Let me fix that: were paid good money to dress that way on behalf of a brand. It’s the combo that is interesting.”

“Read the article and I can’t agree. Vendors use FUD as part of their Marketing, why is this worse?” @jadedsecurity

“But by saying it’s poor taste, you are indeed passing judgement on those women too.” @awilsong

“It is now a hot topic. May seem counter intuitive to treat booth babes as trolls, but they are – quit feeding ’em.” @sawaba

“FUD: Flesh, Undressed, in Deshabille? So it’s okay in Vegas, but not in SF? Why does con venue matter?” @csoandy

“I don’t think it’s an either/or thing. FUD insults everyone. So does vendors hiring BBs.” @hypatiadotca

“So what do you propose vendors use if they cant use FUD or BB to attract people? #marketing” @jadedsecurity

“Make awesome products. The rest should handle itself.” @hypatiadotca

“(That is a) False Hope.” @jadedsecurity

“It’s 2011. If best your mktg dept can come up w/ is T&A, get new mktg dept.” @jtyrus

“In McAfee’s case they could use their ICM Registry deal as an excuse … I suppose the point is to draw a crowd not monopolize the attention.” @ITSecurity

“My prob w/booth babes is that they lack substance, know nothing about the product & can’t answer questions.” @johnmischief

–Bill Brenner

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