Business at Sofitel

Feministe friend Josh Glasstetter sends along this image from the Sofitel homepage — it’s the first thing that comes up when you visit their site. Sofitel, it’s worth mentioning, is the place where DSK was renting out a $3,000-a-night suite when he allegedly sexually assaulted a hotel employee. The image advertises “Business@Sofitel,” and features two white men and three white women. The two white men are in suits, and are standing up, and both appear to be talking to the women and moving around. The three women are sitting down, looking up at the men. The women are not wearing suits. Two of the women appear to be taking notes on whatever it is that the men are saying; the third is just gazing up at the talking, suit-wearing man.

Business@Sofitel: Men TALKING! And GESTURING! And LEADING! And women… sitting and listening! And writing down the important things that the talking, gesturing men say! And making the “I am so interested in all of the interesting things you are saying because you are just so interesting” face! And looking really pretty while they do it!

Sounds just lovely. Do pretty women who gaze adoringly at you come standard, or is there an extra cost for that? Is there a discount for uglier ones? Because I’ll totally take uglier ones as long as they can do the “interested” face.

Larger version of the image below the fold.

About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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17 Responses to Business at Sofitel

  1. You’ve got to be kidding.

  2. Wonderkitty says:

    The blond woman behind the text actually looks like she’s making an “I’m considering the best way to hit you with my iPad without damaging my iPad” face, but maybe it’s just the text obscuring her face. This image makes me want to hit people with iPads too; luckily I own a droid tablet instead of an iPad.

  3. Andie says:

    Tom Megginson blogs at Work That Matters with a feature called Fucked Ads Friday.. I just gave him the heads up for this one.

  4. Marlene says:

    I’ve seen male-top straight sm porn that was subtler. Actually, most of what I’ve seen is subtler than this.

  5. Harald says:

    Wonderkitty:
    The blond woman behind the text actually looks like she’s making an “I’m considering the best way to hit you with my iPad without damaging my iPad” face, but maybe it’s just the text obscuring her face.This image makes me want to hit people with iPads too; luckily I own a droid tablet instead of an iPad.

    Yeah, to me she looks pretty nonplussed, too. But be that as it may: horrible ad, but probably not too surprising.

  6. P.T.Smith says:

    Wonderkitty:

    Yeah, that woman clearly got away with a “all my body language says disgust and confusion” look. I’m sure they’ll rectify that soon enough.

  7. Pingback: Things in Their Place « vixregina

  8. DP says:

    Yeah, although it clearly was none of the intention, from left to right I read:

    Man A: I want to be Don Draper *so badly*.
    Woman A: You are never going to be Don Draper, and I am blogging about that.
    Man B: Come give me a blowjob right now, blonde lady.
    Woman B: *glazing over*
    Woman C: I am vomiting in my mouth *forever.

  9. It looks like Standing Pointing Guy is giving Potentially Pissed Off Blonde Woman some kind of “talking to”.

    “I said you LOOK in my EYES when I am telling you how wrong your executive assistant notes are, simple female!”

    At least she doesn’t look like an 11 year old at a Jonas Brothers concert, like the other two ladies. Good Gawd.

    That’s so bloody offensive. And I don’t offend easily.

    Also wondering if they COULD have found a bonier model for the Pretty Sitting Lady. Seriously. Look at her arm.

  10. Kristen J. says:

    DP: Yeah, although it clearly was none of the intention, from left to right I read:Man A: I want to be Don Draper *so badly*.Woman A: You are never going to be Don Draper, and I am blogging about that.Man B: Come give me a blowjob right now, blonde lady.Woman B: *glazing over*Woman C: I am vomiting in my mouth *forever.

    This is approximately how I interpret their body language as well. But clearly they were going for conventionally attractive women starring adoringly at men. Alas, even with professional models its not possible to pull that shit off.

  11. Diz says:

    This makes me especially sad and is giving me a HUGE wtf moment because I work in the hotel industry and have met almost all of the reps from the various Sofitels. I also deal with their upper management a lot and they have so many women in high positions working for them.

    So…..wtf guys?! This soooo does not even really represent them as a company and I think the next time the big wigs visit, I just may ask up front why they made the decision to make an advert like this.

  12. Nancy Green says:

    I followed the DSK case closely and was very impressed with how the management at the Sofitel in New York handled the incident. They did all the right things, and fast. It’s so common for unexpected and unwanted crises to be covered up or stalled.
    Although Nassifitou Diallo did not get justice in court, she was treated with support and respect by her employers, and they paid a price in rumor and slander on their organization.

  13. PrettyAmiable says:

    How would I know how I should engage with men in a business environment if it weren’t for this ad? Thanks, Sofitel!

  14. thinksnake says:

    Is the woman at the front… floating? She doesn’t seem to have a seat-back, and her torso doesn’t look positioned to be sitting in any case.

    ZOMG Ghost women at Sofitel?

  15. janjamm says:

    Is it just me, or does this have the feel of an Eastern European scene? I don’t know why I feel that. Perhaps because it feels so culturally behind the times, so Putin-ish, so out of step with the executive workforce I am familiar with in the West. The woman with the bun, has the look of “doe in the headlights.” Some ad agency should look around their executive staff and see what’s going on.

  16. PrettyAmiable says:

    YES. Eastern Europe is a monolith. A backwards monolith. Poland just heard about neon slap bracelets.

  17. Kristen J. says:

    PrettyAmiable: YES. Eastern Europe is a monolith. A backwards monolith. Poland just heard about neon slap bracelets.

    I almost snorted a cheerio out my nose. I loved slap bracelets.

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