You can't handle the booth

20 Feb 2013

The gals in the Dodgi typing pool will be the first to tell you I’m a big supporter of women in business (I always, always make a point of complimenting their nubile physiques and giving them a supportive pat on the behind first thing on a Monday).

So I was delighted to read this week that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) may be looking to stamp out the use of so-called “booth babes”. Now, I’ve been to many an IT trade show and I’ve always been too busy strategising with other industry opinion-cultivators to notice hordes of scantily clad women trying to grab my attention, but apparently this is a common occurrence at these events.

A representative for CES organiser CEO told the BBC a blanket ban on booth babes could “inch our event towards a Talibanesque ban on exposure of the skin”. (Too right: of all the horrific acts of intimidation and violence enacted against women by the Taliban, its hardline stance on booth babes is the worst.)

But, according to the Beeb, the guidelines for next year’s show have warned exhibitors that deploying women in skimpy drawers and stilettos could reflect badly on them and told them to give the issue “thoughtful consideration”.

Good idea. I’m already taking a long, hard look at the issue of barely dressed women.

In fact, I think I’m going to draw the blinds, cancel my calls for the weekend and give this matter the attention it deserves.


Le buzzword

Not content with having better booze, better food, a more laissez-faire attitude to all things romantique and the kind of effortless cool us Brits can only dream of, the French are continuing their quest to eradicate all Englishisms from their mother tongue.

The French government’s General Commission for Terminology and Neology (GCTN) has long fought to stamp out the direct importing of English tech terms into la langue Française, with one notable early victim being the word email, which was swapped out (at least officially) for the decidedly more French “courriel” 10 years ago.

Now the humble hashtag has felt the GCTN’s wrath, with the body requesting all Frenchians instead use the Gallic translation “mot-dièse”. I respect the desire to protect your national identity, but this couldn’t have come at a worse time for me as I’ve just launched my “Le Cloud” advertising campaign to break into the French market.

It’s a good job I made the effort to dress up in a stripey jumper, beret and garland of onions or I wouldn’t have stood a chance.


Political affairs

In a sensational story sure to shock and scandalise right-thinking taxpayers everywhere, it emerged this month that a website offering extra-marital hanky panky is being accessed up to several hundred times a day by computers at the Houses of Parliament.

According to stats from the bluntly named Out Of Town Affairs, the site was visited 52,375 times in the past seven months from PCs used solely by MPs and other Westminstral staff.

“Taxpayers expect parliamentarians and their staff to spend their time making laws and scrutinising the government, not looking for an affair,” Robert Oxley, campaign manager for the TaxPayers’ Alliance (really?) told the Daily Mail.

“This country is going to hell in a handcart. It’s political correctness gone mad. Won’t someone think of the children?!,” he added, probably.


A dangerous type

Journalists are no stranger to a numerical typo that turns a thousand into a million, or a million into a billion. (I’ve even heard of one devilishly handsome channel hack who once proclaimed – in a front-page headline – that a vendor was to give out £2bn in rebates that quarter – more than eight times its total quarterly revenue.) But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t raise a sizeable guffaw when someone else does it.

So my chums on the CRN newsdesk were delighted this week to receive a press release from a £50m-odd VAR proclaiming a major new partnership.

The headline screamed: “Market leaders join forces to target £10 of new business.”

Nice going, fellas. If there’s anything my three decades in the channel have taught me, it’s the importance of setting achievable goals.

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