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Dell's new marketing tactic? Sexism

Don't worry your pretty little heads about it
Thu May 14 2009, 00:49

IN WHAT APPEARS to be an attempt to patronise and condescend to women worldwide, Dell's marketing division has come up with a netbook page for all the giggly girlies out there who love pink and fluff, and fluffy pinkness. Oooh, and bunnies.

The "Della" marketing campaign offers ladies "tech tips" which include oh-so-helpful hints like, "Use your mini to track calories, carbs and protein with ease" and "Watch online fitness videos," not to mention "Find recipes online, store and organise them," and "Watch cooking videos."


Having somehow come up with the silly notion that all women are, in fact, clones of the Desperate Housewives characters, Della recommends the fairer sex use their netbooks as a "meditation buddy", to "download meditation podcasts, watch yoga videos, [and] create soothing slideshows."

Yes, Della apparently thinks none of us actually have full-time jobs or useful things to do with our time. We just 'do lunch' and shop for clothes, sit around in our perfect make-up, and gossip with our girlfriends all day, kitted out with fun and fashionable accessories.

Della might as well have added, "Did you know that if you turn off the Mini you can use the screen as a mirror to apply makeup when you drive?" Actually, scrap that. Drive? What are you thinking, woman!

When this writer got on her high horse (or should that be 'little pony'?) about the page, she was asked by a member of Dell's marketing team, "Do you really think that providing information that is personalized for various consumer audiences is sexist?" Er, when it is done in such blatantly condescending fashion, yes!

Even more shocking is that the whole Della campaign has emerged under the leadership of Dell's new female CMO - Erin Nelson - who recently replaced Mark Jarvis. But, in her defense, we assume Ms. Nelson was too busy having a bubble bath or a pillow fight to properly notice what her team was putting together.


Sources close to the firm tell the INQ that Dell's marketing division is now "rethinking" the Della site. *Gasp*, OMG! Really?! That is, like, so completely cool... but, wait, does this mean I won't be able to buy an array of pastel coloured netbooks any more? *pouty face*

In actual fact, the Della page is just one example of how the male dominated tech industry talks down to women. And no, before the sexist flames start, this writer is not a feminist, has never burned a bra and shaves her legs regularly.

Maybe Dell marketing should have a 'crack' at marketing to gays next, work up a campaign pandering to racist stereotypes, or... prey (pray?) on minority religions. *giggle* µ

*Update: After publishing this story, Dell's marketing division have seen fit to slightly modify the tech tips on the Della page. An editors note at the top now reads: "Some of you have read this article over the last several days and will notice a few modifications. You spoke; we listened. Thank you for your ongoing feedback."


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