Photo: Hyper / Instagram
If “booth babes” — the scantily dressed women who work the trade show floor at CES — are ever banned, then Hyper, a company that makes accessories for Apple products, will likely share some of the blame.Most booth babes at least have an active role in the promoting their company’s products, by talking to attendees and demonstrating features.
But at Hyper’s booth this year, the company used a series of models wearing only bikini bottoms and body paint to advertise their brand. The women stood on a stage, not moving, staring straight ahead, and not talking to anyone. Attendees were encouraged to photograph them and post the images to Instagram, according to Mashable. More confusingly, a black model was painted white.
Needless to say, men staffing booths tend to wear regular clothing, and are allowed to talk. The criticism is that women are used as sex objects to market products in a way that men are not.
Hyper’s own Instagram account currently carries several images (see below). Other Instagram users have already been using Hyper’s #GetMore hashtag to criticise the company.
Karen Chupka, senior vice president of the Consumer Electronics Association, defended the use of booth babes and criticised the media for calling them “babes”:
The story has been overly sensationalized … A lot of people are hired to come in and support exhibitors, since the booth is only one-third of the cost of attending the event. … I can’t understand. This is the year 2013, and I thought women had come farther than this. I’m really appalled that anybody prints the word ‘babe’ and thinks that’s OK.
We’ve gathered some images from Instagram of Hyper’s booth. Tell us if you think they went so far. The images are of mostly naked women entirely covered in body paint, and thus may not be safe for work.
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