EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.30.10

Microsoft Uses “Half-naked” Women (‘Meter Maids’) to Promote Its Products

Posted in Bill Gates, Marketing, Microsoft at 5:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft employees — not Free software proponents– are the sexist ones

Statue

Summary: Microsoft marketing goes awry and the company is pressured to issue an apology; a look at the Edstrom (PR) and Gates family affairs

Microsoft boosters or Free software opponents love to pretend that Free software proponents are sexist, but often it just turns out to be the very opposite. A few months ago we saw Microsoft’s “boob” incident (large advertising campaign it later "apologised" for) and earlier this year we learned about Microsoft allegedly offering female prostitutes/orgies to business partners [1, 2]. Those sex-related incidents are not a rarity, especially in advertising. Going further back we could give many more examples.

The latest Microsoft “apology” (everyone seems to put it in quotes, even Microsoft boosters) has just arrived. The Register says:

Microsoft gets Speedos in a twist over half-naked ‘Meter Maids’

[...]

The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that Microsoft had hired the women to appear at its TechEd conference on the Gold Coast.

Keep it classy, sweaty Steve. Here is more coverage of this incident (and photos):

How could they be so tactless and not foresee the backlash? It’s probably one of those cases where in a very large organisation the left hand did not communicate with the right hand. To Microsoft, this is a serious PR problem. All those years promoting the image that it’s respectful to women (we gave examples of this PR line last week) sometimes go down the drain, but Microsoft keeps choosing female faces to represent the company while giving that whole “equal opportunity” and “cultural diversity” feel-good sensation. Steve Ballmer is even married to one such PR person. She worked for Waggener Edstrom. Speaking of which, Pam and Jennifer Edstrom came up again because this PR-related blog post linked to Techrights some days ago.

It was also the video that saw Microsoft tried and found guilty in the court of public opinion. In minutes, the hard work on building Bill Gates’ reputation put in by Pam Edstrom (first as Microsoft’s director of PR and then as a senior executive at Waggener Edstrom) was eviscerated. This was when the fear stopped.

This links to an old article from the New York Times and it’s about Waggener Edstrom. It turns out that this AstroTurf/marketing firm of Microsoft was by no means pleased by the work of Jennifer Edstrom.

In the acknowledgments of her new book, ”Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft From the Inside,” the author, Jennifer Edstrom, thanks her mother for encouraging her to write, ”even though this isn’t particularly what she had in mind.”

Since 1982, Ms. Edstrom’s mother, Pam, has helped shape the public image of the Microsoft Corporation’s chairman, first as a Microsoft employee and then as an executive of the public relations firm that represents him. When she learned about preparations for her daughter’s book, a behind-the-scenes account co-written with a former Microsoft software developer, Marlin Eller, she tried, the daughter said, to dissuade her from writing it.

”My mother had commented in Fortune in January that it put her in an awkward position,” Jennifer Edstrom said from her home in Portland, Ore. ”She made it completely clear she wanted no part of it.”

Parental disapproval did not carry the day. ”It’s hard enough to control Gates,” the elder Ms. Edstrom said, ”much less your daughter.” She responded with a terse ”no comment” when asked about the book.

Waggener Edstrom currently works on Gates’ lies and image-shaping (not just Microsoft’s). It’s a lesson in why such agencies do not deserve a place in society. Waggener Edstrom bribes bloggers with laptops, for example. What we found interesting is that Pam Edstrom disregards the truth and follows the money whereas her daughter has some dignity for a change. She chose not to seek spin but to seek some truth, instead. Maybe lack of ethics is not hereditary after all. Maybe Bill Gates’ children (now enrolled in the Khan Academy) will not end up being parasites of society, unlike their father. It is too early to determine this (the children are all too young), but Bill appeared with his son at the Hanford site recently. It is a “mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, operated by the United States federal government,” according to Wikipedia. As a reminder, Gates and fellow patent trolls have nuclear patents which he is marketing in public events and in the US government (lobbying).

“By May of 1994, Gates’s patience was growing so thin that not even a public relations pro like Pam Edstrom could muzzle him.”

Jennifer Edstrom

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    August 30, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Gravatar

    Meter maids are adults choosing to perform a job i’m sure they’re quite well paid for – and i believe they’re quite proud of the job they do and enjoy the work, it’s hardly degrading. I bet it’s a lot less degrading than being a checkout chick, a waitress, a burger packer, a call centre operator or countless other horrible service jobs.

    Still, probably not appropriate for that particular event and rather poor judgement by a bunch of laddy lads who obviously got a bit over-excited about spending money on a show at the Gold Coast. Probably more to the point was the poor judgement on how to handle the complaints. I wish they handled complaints about their software so loudly and indiscreetly …

What Else is New


  1. Understanding Thierry Breton: Toxic Management Goes on Trial in France

    "In each of these cases, the suicide served as a symbolic act of protest to denounce workplace conditions at France Télécom and attract public attention to its practices."



  2. Thierry Breton's Video/Live Grilling is Over, But the Grilling Continues Online

    Elite politicians aren't reluctant to give Thierry Breton the high seat (or throne); but everyone else realises that this resembles a corporate takeover more than anything



  3. The EPO's Low Patent Quality is Not Just Suicidal; It is Illegal

    With help from the besieged Boards of Appeal (BoAs), which complain that they can no longer judge cases (appeals/referrals) autonomously and independently, the Office in Munich continues to grossly violate the EPC and mimic China's ridiculously low patent bar, which even formally permits patents on algorithms



  4. Links 14/11/2019: Mesa 19.2.4 and GCC 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft is Not an Open Source Company But Microsoft Bribed and Took Over Many Open Source Authorities (Rivals' Voice Hijacked)

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and GNU/Linux are being taken over by Microsoft moles, bought by Microsoft Corporation, and the collective voice of the alternative to Microsoft and Windows is being muzzled (they tell us they "love" us while they're attacking us and sometimes suing us)



  6. Techrights' Interpretation of Koch v EPO: The EPO's Management Still Attacks Staff Representatives

    The EPO hopes to get its victims (of EPO abuse) to not only foot their own bills but also the EPO's



  7. Understanding Thierry Breton: “Mister Cash” Arrives at France Télécom

    The psychological harassment of the France Télécom workforce led the "suicide wave" after Breton had left France Télécom



  8. The Breton-Battistelli Relationship and Breton Hiding His Employment Record at Rothschild & Cie Banque

    EPO scoundrels such as Battistelli are closer to Breton than most people care to realise; Breton is hiding part of his career ahead of today's grilling



  9. A Lot of EPO Staff on Dutch Land Protested (Despite Abusive Threats From Management) and a Strike is Reportedly Next

    EPO management in Rijswijk tried hard to prevent workers from protesting on their free time (lunch break), reaffirming that same old belief that nothing is changing at the EPO and nothing will change without truly disruptive action



  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 13, 2019



  11. Links 13/11/2019: Docker Enterprise Bought, WordPress 5.3, Qt 5.12.6 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Rebranding Malware and Spyware as 'Linux' to Dilute the Brand (and the News)

    Signal-to-noise ratio continues to be reduced, as a lot of "Linux" news has nothing to do with GNU/Linux or even with Free software



  13. Understanding Thierry Breton: In the Beginning...

    Career roundup of Thierry Breton, possibly the next EU Commissioner



  14. Startpage Has Been Delisted, But it Ought to be Blacklisted

    Startpage has just warned its fans (I am a former fan) of what Startpage itself covertly became months back



  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 12, 2019



  16. Links 12/11/2019: Plasma 5.17.3, More Intel Defects, Bytecode Alliance

    Links for the day



  17. You've Gotta Go When You've Gotta Go

    How most staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) feels these days



  18. Teaser: Thierry Breton and His Disquieting Past

    "The company attracted notoriety and loathing in the UK for its role in assessing disability benefit eligibility."



  19. EPO and EU: People Behind the Faces

    It’s no secret that the EPO breaks the law and European officials have taken no concrete steps to intervene; to make matters worse, potentially new EPO allies may soon be put in charge of the EU Commission



  20. Maintaining the 'Delete Github' page

    "This list really is a starting point, which can hopefully increase awareness about the issue of concern."



  21. Linux Foundation Picking Money

    The dating standards of the Linux Foundation



  22. Microsoft 'Borrows' the Linux Brand

    With help from the likes of the Linux Foundation Microsoft continues to misuse and ‘dilute’ the Linux brand (and registered trademark)



  23. EPO Corruption Compared to Cocaine Scandals in Antwerp

    Days after the Dutch protest discussion is sort of 'uncorked' regarding EPO corruption (published, as usual, in the form of anonymous comments)



  24. SUEPO Showed That the Media Won't Cover EPO Corruption Until Half the Workers March in the Streets

    What ought to have been a central (if not 'the' central) issue of debate in Europe is still being treated as borderline irrelevant or marginal



  25. Meanwhile in California

    News from California is being spun by Microsoft this week, owing to weak journalism that's more like PR than journalism



  26. Privacy-Centric Services and Even Drupal/Acquia Defect to the Camp of Mass Surveillance

    In search of money [pun intended] companies and services that are supposed to respect their customers and users turn out to be doing the opposite; this merits research and public discussions



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, November 11, 2019



  28. Links 12/11/2019: Sparky 2019.11 Special Editions and Twisted 19.10.0 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's Abduction of the Voice of Its Opposition Highlights the Urgency of the Movement/Campaign to Delete GitHub

    Microsoft understands that by entrapping FOSS and GNU/Linux inside proprietary software platforms like GitHub and Azure it can utilise the false perception that it somehow speaks on behalf of both (whilst attacking both)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 10, 2019


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts