Marlo Brooke

Beauty IS the Geek

“Beauty IS the Geek” is Marlo Brooke’s term, not mine. Ms. Brooke is the CEO of a company called Avatar Partners, which does supply chain consulting – RFID, that sort of thing.

Today, Avatar’s PR agency, RMS Public Relations, sent out a pitch – including the photograph on this posting. The subject line, “Story idea: Beauty IS the Geek,” astounded me. The agency’s account executive wrote,

Alan, I thought you might be interested in a story about Marlo Brooke, CEO of Avatar Partners, who breaks the mold in a male-dominated technology industry. In this case BEAUTY IS THE GEEK! (Picture attached)

This is the most obnoxious attempt to get tech coverage based on executive sex appeal since 1998. That’s when Katrina Garnett plastered ads for her company, CrossWorlds Software – with a juicy picture of herself in a slinky little black dress – all over technology and fashion magazines.

A decade ago, Ms. Garnett made a whole bunch of lonely programmers’ days. Is that really the type of trail-blazing attention that a woman tech-industry entrepreneur believes she must seek out? Today, is Avatar Partners so desperate for publicity that their public relations agency must tout the physical attributes of the company’s female CEO? Pathetic.

Ms. Brooke has a pretty face, but that young lady has some serious self-esteem issues. This is not the healthiest way to get customers and the press interested in her company.

5 replies
  1. Andrew Binstock
    Andrew Binstock says:

    I received the same pitch. And responded with a note back to the PR person, stating:

    “The lack of women in technology is not likely to be resolved if we continue to traffic in appearances. My interest in any interviewee is what intelligent thing they have to say; and so the use of appearance as the hook diminishes my interest in Marlo, or anyone else. It’s as odd to me as you suggesting I interview a male CEO because, for starters, he’s handsome or fit.”

  2. The Design Diva
    The Design Diva says:

    Aw, come on guys! After all, it was Madison Avenue men who invented the ground-breaking concept that sex sells.

    I seriously doubt that this little stunt was her idea’ Let’s face it, she’s just not that hot.

    And besides, whatever happened to having a sense of humor?:)

  3. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    Well PR comments aside, I have had the opportunity to work with the principals at Avatar Partners due to their involvement in my business — they are VERY good at what they do. They have helped my company significantly and know what they are doing. There are not a lot of companies who deliver on their promises… but Avatar Partners does so. Particularly good at the order to cash process and RFID with return on investment. Great looks aside, they are a team of very professional executives for whom I rely upon consistently.

  4. Bobby More
    Bobby More says:

    I guess Miss Brooke doesn’t have to worry about the bad PR and dichotomy of whether you’re pretty or smart anymore since her company with her at the helm it is leading several Prime contracts with the Navy and Airforce… no one cares wedding when looks like they care what kind of job you do

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