Avigilon Half Naked Women Again

Like all security events, the Avigilon 'VIP' bash, was overwhelmingly male.

Avigilon had a way to slightly even out the gender imbalance, going with half naked women with the Avigilon wordmark painted down their breasts:

This is a continuation of an evidently proud trade show tradition, e.g., from an IFSEC 2014 party:

We have debated this before here and, most recently, cited a show that banned such displays.

While the rest of the professional world relegates this to the stone ages, please feel free to tell us why we are prudes and overreacting.

Do most major manufacturers have some sort of VIP bash at ISC? Did IDIS have one?

Was the IDIS VIP able to attend?

For those of you going to the events, I'd be curious to hear about similar tactics. Lots of manufacturers have these events so it's either the only ones that get sent out on social media are from Avigilon VIPs or Pelco, Honeywell, Anixter, ADI, et al, don't do this.

Any feedback on other events welcomed.

Avigalon - desperately grasping for attention.

So does Avigilon think that the way to do business is by showcasing women instead of their products?? And is it so easy for men to be "bought" by this kind of presentation? Personally i think I would be insulted... and you know, you're in Vegas. If this is what you're seeking, why go to a manufacturer party? Maybe because it's easier to "tell" the wife that you're going to the manufacturer's party and not out nightclubs??

I'm not offended by such displays (having lived my first 38 years in West Hollywood) but am just as uncomfortably embarrassed for them. There is nothing clever or subtle or creative about it. It's just blatant pandering and obvious low-brow appeal.

Update: the Avigilon half naked woman photo has been deleted from Instagram, where it was originally posted. It remains on Twitter via an auto repost from InstaLasVegas.

Update 2: the photo has been restored on Instagram though now the text reference of Avigilon has been removed.

I talked to a manufacturer who wasn't invited to the Avigilon event but happened to wander in. He said he didn't actually even know it was their party until he saw the painted ladies, because that was literally the only Avigilon signage he saw.

Maybe that was all they where looking at...

It would be very interesting to interview the girls and "hear" their opinions directly. I quite frankly don't think they (the women) could care more. I mean, girls just wanna have fun :) (and extra $$$ by the way doesn't hurt, specially for those with college debts).

And the guys attending the event there OBVIOUSLY will not buy "shitty" stuff (not that I'm saying AVIGILON manufactures bad products, au contraire I think they are pretty good) because of the presence or not of the half-naked women.

Same logic applies to: NOBODY in his right mind will buy mediocre IP cameras with sub-par software from the latest and cheapest Asian OEM in the ISC West chinese section even if they hire Kim Kardashian to pose in bikini in their booth.... at least I wouldn't, don't know about other colleagues : )

The issue is the female security professionals who attend these events and what having half naked women does to them.

To better appreciate, flip the scenario. An event has 95% female attendees, the organizer hires muscular guys in speedos. The females are checking them out, taking photos with them, etc. Many / most of the 5% men feel marginalized and uncomfortable.

Anyway, Avigilon supporters can defuse this by simply pointing out how many half naked men they had at the VIP event.

If you can flip that scenario as you say that would surely be an event that as a male I would not want to miss! It wouldn't affect me in the least. Imagine the attention you would get and the buisness oppourtunities you would have in this situation. In all seriousness though in real life I dont' think either scenario should be acceptable in a trade show.

Hello John,

I would consider your flipped scenario a "target rich environment."

I've heard estimates of 2% to 5% of security integrators are female. At that rate that would still translate into 50 women Avigilantes.

Though I suspect limiting that number is the fraternity style commraderie that might be off putting to the fairer sex. It would be interesting to get their take on the cigar club atmosphere of Avigilon. Maybe Avigilon would have to hire a token Chippendale to avoid gender discrimination allegations.

More disturbing party pics have surfaced...

Avigilon VIP Keynote Speaker Paul Blart

Here he is expounding on the some of the reasons users find proprietary systems so 'compelling'.

I have to go anonymous as the partner booth I was working (not my employer) had booth babes.

I was not offended or insulted. However, in my opinion, it casts the products in an outdated light. Maybe it was appropriate back in the day, but not today.

With that said, a few of the ladies actually studied the product, gave good demonstrations, were able to answer basic questions, and deftly handed off other questions. A few of them did. The others said "tee hee" a lot.

All is fun and games in Las Vegas, until Monday morning when the twitter pictures come out...

Luckily, I don't sell or work with Avigilon, but if I did I would seriously reconsider my partnership with them after seeing this. How low do you have to stoop to sell security cameras?

Not as good as it gets for the Secret Service though. They use drug cartels' law enforcement officers as lookouts, tax dollars for prostitute payment and get to sample the wares instead of just looking.

On a professional note, would any of these integrators want to use pictures of this event to show their end user an example of the company culture of the manufacturer they are recommending to protect their premises and its occupants?

Well, now we know what the need for the high megapixel resolution is really all about. :)

And since they stand still and pose, the low frame rate is no barrier...

... Here's another point of view from a marketing boss that seems to have actually done a split-test and got some numbers to prove his "indisputable point beyond empirical evidence".

It seems this guy actually hired "professional booth babe talent" for one booth and 2 "grandmothers hanging around stating that they were a part of the team for the week" for another booth simultaneously at the SAME show.

Most interesting to me was his pointing out of the "LOW-QUALITY Leads" (to quote him "the overconfident IT nubs that were always first at the hosted bars and whose highlight for the quarter was being authorized to travel for the event and had neither the authority nor the budget that made them ideal prospects for my sales teams. All these guys do is lower your conversion from lead to opp and lower your ROI on the show.")

That article was spot on. Thanks for the link.

This is a prime example of why we do not do business with a company like Avilgion.

Well, whether we approve of it or not, it served its purpose; it got our attention and we all are talking about it which what the marketing folks got paid to do.... Cheers!

"It got our attention and we all are talking about it which what the marketing folks got paid to do"

Avigilon can get people's attention regardless. They had interesting new products announced at the show. I would think a sensible marketer would want people taking about them rather than debating whether it is appropriate to paint your brand on a woman's breast.

Geez, how dare they have models at their afterparty in Vegas. I think everybody's butt hurt because it's Avigilon. No other brand has so much hatred from the user base for some reason.

If they showed up at my office with half naked models, that would be a different story, but they can do whatever they want at their own private party.

As a man, yes I like to look at pretty women, however it would play no influence on what product I'm going to select, and I highly doubt anyone has ever purchased their product soley because they had models and if they have, shame on them.

I use Godaddy as well, not because their controversial advertisements, but because their service works well and I can get certificates for 1/6 the price of the big names that work just as well.

I personally prefer the current lettering scheme to the smaller less "bold" from the past. Great shot, I especially like the cigar placement. The message is as subtle as the promotion.

But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar....

Contrary to early beliefs..."any press is good press" it is possible to make stupid public moves which arent helpful in the least.

I am proud to have the knowledge that I have about my field. I have spent years getting to the point of 'expert.' I got that knowledge from reading counless specs, walking countless jobs and enduring countless meetings with customers and manufacturers. I make descisions with my mind and not my emotions or my sexual response mechanism.

For Avigilon to think they can sway me by appealing to the baser instincts is moronic and insulting.

Maybe they make products which are ok and maybe not; however, we do double-digit millions in integrations and as long as this behavior occurs from them, we won't buy their stuff.

I agree, and wish others would understand the implied insult to knowledge and professional committment by condensing it to a motive of eyecandy.

Avigilon had no "booth babes" FYI but they throw a private party with a "circus du soleil" theme in Las Vegas and everyone comes out of the wood work as is offended. I saw more skin in walking on the main strip then I did at this event so why no outrage at ISC for having the show in Las Vegas aka sin city? And based off comments so far NO one in the thread was at the event which was not a college frat party that IPVM despertly wants to make it out to be.

You can try to rationalize this any way you want, and you're still wrong.

The bottom line is that hundreds of exhibitors managed to have a purposeful show without hiring women to serve as billboards.

Defending this as 'well everyone was in Sin City' is absolving Avigilon of the direct responsibility they had when hiring these women.

This is the second time that they have used naked women in body paint, so let's not pretend it's a Vegas thing.

ISC has the show in Las Vegas because there are huge convention centers within walking distance of huge hotels. Are you implying that the objectification of women is acceptable because the show is in Las Vegas? What if the show was in Bangkok? Would underage prostitutes be acceptable?

And based off comments so far NO one in the thread was at the event...

That's fair criticism. And I am not being facetious.

Can you speak a little to the actual atmosphere? Were there (m)any women guests that you are aware of? Does 1500 sound like a reasonable estimation of the crowd?

FWIW, I've seen a couple "circus du soleil" shows myself and don't see that as being misogynistic in and of itself.

I clicked 'agree' and then decided I'm not sure what I was agreeing with. Suffice it to say, I agree that this activity is not appropriate for today's business world. All things have their place; this is not one of them. Disclaimer: I was not present and my opinion is based on the posting.

Avigilon should be repeatedly reminded via email from each of us, that its 2015 not 1960 and there is an ever growing presents of females at all levels of our industry! Thus the misuse of women at trade shows is not needed, wanted and show a real lack of professionalism on the part of Avigilon!

In fact, one would have to wonder aloud why the need for women in such a role in the first place — are sales that bad, — is their development program that slow or is management at Avigilon just that jaded!

I for one now have yet another reason for not recommending their product or seeking to add them to my line of products!

Just a through or two

John, I know that Team IPVM doesn't publish any Booth Babe metrics per se, but is your sense that the overall BB trend is waxing or waning?

It appears to be less than 3 or 5 years ago. It also appears that the general US culture has become more sensitive / opposed to their use.

As this discussion shows, enough people find this offensive enough that a prudent approach would be to omit this. I am sure Avigilon can still show their VIPs a great time without branding woman's breasts.

I wonder how the females over at Avigilon feel about it?


Ok, please enough everyone.

I think we have more than enough points on either side by now. Unless you have new facts to add, let's try not to post anything else.

May I remind you we have numerous new posts including Ethan's in-depth Product / Tech Roundup ISC West 2015, Google / Nest Dealer Program Unveiled At ISC West and Panasonic Free VMS Licenses Program, just to name a few from the last 24 hours.

I am surprised nobody mentioned that Avigilon's VP Marketing is an accomplished female executive. It would be fascinating to learn where she stands on this issue. Perhaps the appearance of these young ladies is answer enough. My question to Alexander Fernandes is this.... If you were meeting with a female buyer/investor and one of the paid ladies approached the area with avigilon written across her breasts would you feel proud or embarrassed?

In fairness to Avigilon's female VP Marketing, (1) this practice predates her hiring and (2) people who tell Schmode / Fernandes no, don't have a history of lasting a long time (see Avigilon Employee Reviews).

My point here is that the 'appearance of these young ladies' might mean she endorses it, but it could equally mean that she realizes that being new to the company, this is not a battle she can win. Hopefully, the objections raised here will help her when they plan their next events.

As a female in the security industry who fights every day to be seen as an equal, I hate booth babes. It does nothing to sell product and only alienates female customers and employees by objectifying us. I find it insulting and would never condone it within my own company.