Results Are In On PAX's Booth Babe Ban Poll

I don't know this means the ban on scantily-clad booth babes at the Penny Arcade Expos necessarily gets any stricter, but the policy - put to a poll of Penny Arcade's community last week - is definitely getting more descriptive.

The biggest inclusion the PAX community wanted to see in the policy is that a booth rep "needs to be trained/educated about the product." So if that's applied to everyone in the booth, cosplaying or not, it'll probably cut down on eye candy since, as we see in ads for E3 booth babe gigs, it's not a job marketers want to pay any money or spend much time training someone to do

Eighty-one percent of respondents to their poll wanted booth reps who knew something about the product. So if that condition has primacy, then the semiconflicted language about what kind of dress is and isn't allowed may be a moot point. "Anything that is considered "partial nudity" is banned." OK, pretty definitive. Also, "No messaging that specifically calls out body parts," will be a part of the policy. That said, "cosplayed characters are allowed to wear revealing outfits, assuming it is true to the source game."

It's cool of Penny Arcade to include its community's wishes on this, and certainly its policy is its own business. Nitpicking what conditions have primacy is kind of a pointless argument, though. Like I said, I don't know that the no-booth babe ban got any more or less strict, but the language and the reasoning behind it is at least more articulate.

PAX Booth Babe Survey Results [Penny Arcade Forums, thanks ACC3SS]


    They are reasonable terms and honestly, being more articulated means the vendors are more sure of what they can and can't do. An improvement all around.

    Really? Gamers are so immature they can't accept that hot bodies are a marketing staple used in almost every industry?

    We have to ban them because there is some kind of misconception that you can't have a booth babe to draw attention and the PR guy or community relations chick sitting at the booth with knowledge of the game?

    Obviously a Booth Babe is there to look good and draw your attention - it's called marketing, not answer questions about your freaking game. Talk to the nerd sitting behind the desk for that - you now the one you noticed because the sexy Booth Babe drew you into the desk.

    Banning Booth Babes makes about as much sense as banning sexy cardboard cut outs and posters of game NPCs.

      Its also pretty damn misogynistic, if you have to resort to sex to sell something not in any way related to sex then you've failed as a marketer. Just because its widespread doesnt mean its harmless or laudable.

        I'm sorry, but perhaps you missed every college class that even vaguely mentioned anything halfway related to the history of advertising or any sort of print or visual media, but virtually EVERY product out there uses sex in some form, most of which are NOT related to sex. If they're not related to sex, sometimes they try to relate them. The other half of the time, they don't even worry with making a correlation, the imagery just becomes sexually derived. I'd say "pick a product," but that's too broad. So, pick a brand, a company, that sells a product. If they haven't used blatantly sexual imagery to sell a product, they've used something more subtle. Notice how all of the mothers in every Johnson & Johnson or Walmart commercial is slim and attractive? Notice how every film trailer includes an attractive female, even if the film rarely does (the Brokeback Mountain trailer, a film about... well, clearly not sexually-suggestive women, shows Anne Hathaway seconds before she gets topless, and she's in the film for, literally, minutes of the 2 hour runtime). If you think that any product using sex to market itself is using poor marketing, then every product since factory production, or even earlier, is using poor marketing. Even street vendors and snake oil peddlers brought attractive assistants. Even Wheel of Fortune has Vanna White. Give it a rest.

        A commercial, which tells you very little about the product but is constructed for the express purpose of doing nothing more than getting your attention toward a product, draws you in. You find the product, or more about it, yourself. In the past 10 years or so, irreverent and nonsensical commercials have taken over the market. Watch any Starburst commercial, or Bruce Campbell playing a piano and singing an 80s pop song in order to sell soap. It has nothing to do with the product. It's there to get your attention. Then, once you're aware of the product, you do the rest your self... which in this case is ask someone ELSE about the product. Asking a booth babe, in most cases, would be like repeating the commercial over and over. It isn't going to help you understand. It's served it's purpose, the rest is up to you.

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