Yay! Tech has got its sexism back

New ads for the Escobar Fold 1 phone and the Peloton bike show that the tech world just can't quit sexism.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer on

Will they be at CES?

Screenshot by ZDNet

It seems like only yesterday.

There we were, waddling about the halls of CES and other fine tech conferences. And there they were, women in bikinis enticing us to buy, sometimes by dancing.

Oh, they haven't entirely gone away. They're just used a little more discreetly these days.

Many thought, though, that things were getting slightly better. Yes, sexism was still rife in tech companies, but at least they were beginning to admit it. And even discuss it.

Yet here we are in the dying throes of the decade and two tech companies have come along to take us back in time.

First, there's Peloton, the company that brings guilt to your home and streams invective at you so that you can become fitter. Well, fitter for human consumption.

Here's a Peloton ad that could easily have been made in 1954. A man buys his wife a Peloton for Christmas. She's overjoyed. Now she can turn her 120 lbs into 118 and her husband will adore her all the more.

Yes, it's been widely ridiculed.

What's more ridiculous, perhaps, is that it's still up on Peloton's YouTube page

Could it be that Peloton's management is bathing in all the publicity, rather than sweating it?

Thankfully, Peloton is not alone.

Challenging it to the title of brand that Makes America Grate Again -- and when I say America, I mean the broader definition of it, as in "shot in Moscow, Russia by Escobar Inc official" -- is the new phone ad created on behalf of Roberto Escobar, brother of drug lord Pablo.

The Escobar Fold 1 is a haughty challenger to the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Apple's as yet inconceivable iFold. Or, perhaps, iPhold.

Here, we have models who seem to be lamenting the demise of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Gratefully, they're falling in adoration with the gold Fold 1.

It isn't for me to opine on the merits of this phone -- or even whether it's real. Even though Escobar made this understated claim: "I have told many people that I would beat Apple, and I will. I cut [out] the networks and retailers to sell to customers phones that can fold for only $349, phones which in stores cost thousands of dollars by Samsung and others."

It is for me, however, to suggest that this ad is to progress what the dung beetle is to shepherd's pie.

It's such a relief to know that clocks can be turned back and minds can be frozen in time.

It seems to have happened a lot lately.

Samsung Galaxy Fold first look: in pictures

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