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Novell Accused of Using Sex to Sell

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, SLES/SLED at 6:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In a short and mystifying article, Novell criticisms are raised (or at least echoed). These are related to marketing.

The chap behind the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs blogsite lambasted Novell for its puerile guerrilla marketing effort, saying it’s not cool to use hot girls to flog merchandise — and it hasn’t worked anyway.

Let’s remind ourselves of marketing spoofs that Novell recently used to promote SUSE. Another case of “sex sells”? Be the judge. Microsoft has had some similar problems recently.

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  1. Francis said,

    May 28, 2007 at 8:23 am


    You’re radically oversimplifying the fact and aim of those two first Linux adverts; it’s also pretty sexist (and incredibly offensive) of you to propose that Novell are using “sex to sell” simply because they posited Linux as a woman in the advert. Please stop trying to desperately bend everything to “Novell must be evil”. I wish you would read:

    So we decided to turn the concept on its head. Why should the character have to be a dude? Aren’t we just re-inforcing stereotypes about the IT industry? There are too few women in technology, and they seldom get represented well.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 28, 2007 at 8:51 am


    There were discussion in other Web sites which referred to some as these spoofs as videos suggesting that Linux was “slutty” (referring to behaviour therein). Also see:


  3. Stephen said,

    May 28, 2007 at 9:28 am


    Well Roy, technically speaking one could argue that Linux is slutty. It’s freely available to everyone and is the result of many late nights of glee from many, many people :-)

    Also, Novell using sex to sell anything makes me cry laughing given that the videos were created out of the Utah office, where sex definitely doesn’t sell ;-)

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 28, 2007 at 9:48 am


    Haha. Well, Utah passes other laws too. They are against many things, such as placing anti-Linux ads in among search results for ‘linux’.

    Identity Theft: The Next Generation

    We passed a bill this session that would protect the value of trademarks held by Utah companies. People who own a trademark or hope to own one will love this new law. People who want to carjack someone else’s trademark will hate it.

    Spotted a couple of hours ago:

    Microsoft Makes Fun of Itself [Picture]

  5. Francis said,

    May 28, 2007 at 11:13 am


    Roy, some of the stuff you’re saying now is just a little disturbing and very offensive. Please consider what you’re saying.

    We all know the trash that digg comes up with, but for you to even cite them as well is… astonishing. Novell used a woman to portray Linux in their ad, and you conclude (i) that they’re using sex to sell
    (ii) that they’re saying Linux is a slut?

    Can you not see how unbelievably sexist and ridiculous this is? It’s this exact sexist and abusive attitude that keeps some women away from Linux, and you’re just contributing to it. The type of trash said on here really needs to be exposed, hm…

  6. Shane Coyle said,

    May 28, 2007 at 3:54 pm


    Well, I agree with Francis here – this conversation is somewhat "sexist and ridiculous".

    I never bother to watch the spoofs, but short of a Paris Hilton/ Pam Anderson (Lee? Rock?) being semi-nude and lewd, I doubt Novell was looking to play the sex angle, but rather like the rev Ted entry said were likely trying to do precisely the opposite.

    Then again, like I said, I never did bother to watch ‘em…

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 28, 2007 at 5:42 pm


    You’re right, Francis. Citing Digg wasn’t needed, so I’ll retract the argument.

  8. shane said,

    May 28, 2007 at 7:25 pm


    Now, here is a blatant (yet somewhat amusing) use of (implied) sex in advertising by MS

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