CEA president calls complaint about CES booth babe ‘irrelevant’

Mat Honan, for Gizmodo:

But the second issue is arguably more important. It’s the cluelessness. To demean the concerns about booth babes as “cute” and “irrelevant” shows a huge disconnect with, I dunno… this century. The drumbeat against booth babes grows louder every year. It isn’t going away, and will only get bigger. Other trade shows are at least addressing it, and the CEA should do the same before it finds 60 Minutes shoving a camera in Shapiro’s mug.

“Shapiro” is CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro, whose company puts on the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). He responded to criticism from the BBC about the practice of hiring “booth babes” – scantily-clad young women. Shapiro made the error of being dismissive about the practice, saying, “So your effort to try to get a story based on booth babes, which is decreasing rather rapidly in the industry, and say that it’s somehow sexism imbalancing, it’s cute but it’s frankly irrelevant in my view.”

Look, I admit that I appreciate the female form, but booth babes are a mistake, at least in their current form. They’re very rarely, if ever, briefed about the product they’re helping to pitch, which makes their presence a superfluous distraction. Mat Honan makes some great points and I encourage you to read more.