This isn’t my usual thing, but I keep seeing this ad, and it drives me insane. So I guess it’s time for a little off-topic rant.
I apologize for the quality of the photo – it’s a cell-phone snap from a newspaper page. I tried to find this image online and failed. However, I think you can see it well enough to tell that it’s a visual compendium of nearly everything insanely annoying about how people view men and women in the workplace.
First off, look at that office. It’s entirely white. Every surface is white, even the floor. This “office” was obviously designed by someone who has never set foot in one. No clutter, no coffee, and the only color is provided by the HP products (of course) and the beautiful pieces of paper they have produced, which have been neatly arranged on the wall by a team of stylists. Just like in your office. But I can live with the all-white office - I mean, Roger Sterling has one. It’s the people that really bug me.
Let’s look at the guy. Isn’t he cute? His hair is tousled, his face a little stubbly. His shirt is hanging out. He is wearing comfy clothes and shoes. He wears a wedding ring, so we know he is unavailable. Now the woman. She has sleek, perfect hair. Straight skirt. High heels. No ring. You might still have a chance with her. He points out something to her, indicating that he knows stuff. She listens, enraptured.
Now let’s think for one tiny second whether this ad would have run if the guy were immaculately turned out, listening attentively as a woman with an untucked shirt, messy hair and flat shoes pointed to something on a graph. Then let’s all have a good, long laugh.