Sometimes fact is stranger, in that it’s harder to explain, than fiction. And a global company in Yahoo!’s position should know that the interwebz are global. So the Hack Days lap dances? Is there really any explanation that makes it OK? Not only the gyrating, but also the really lame PR-awareness.
First, let me be clear about something. I don’t have a personal problem with stripping, as long as nobody is being subjugated. Under the best of circumstances, it’s a living. I really don’t care what people do in their personal lives; we all make choices. Don’t care about David Letterman, don’t care about Jon Gosselin, couldn’t give a rip if one of my neighbors is smoking pot in his basement, don’t care, don’t care, don’t care. I am so certain that many of you feel differently. But our feelings about things like stripping, and legalizing marijuana, and politicians love-lives (if you can call them that), are all based on your morals, or world view, as I like to think of it. Not saying that these things can’t go horribly wrong, but in and of themselves, they are a personal, adult choice.
One thing that I do think is that these personal “choices” should be kept out of the workplace. They are hot topics and for everyone of us that has a pretty liberal perspective, there’s another person who vehemently disagrees. And at work, we need to respect each others perspectives. So no strip-o-gram for a co-workers birthday and no dime bag lunches. I imagine that we all could agree on that.
And I think we can agree that crossing some of these personal lines can do irreparable damage to a brand. I think that is what is going on with the politicians. They become untrustworthy to some, unsavory to most and unmarketable to all. Their morality is their business, but the fact that they are big dopes reflects on their work.
So tying the dope part back to the Hack Days thing. Who thought that was a good idea? Yeah, so you are in Taiwan and maybe the culture there is different than in North America, but here are some things that Yahoo! should have considered:
1) Is this really a good use of marketing budget? Shareholders, how do you feel about this?
2) Like I said before, the interwebz, they are global. Your regional marketing decisions, when they go wrong, will become global. With the click of a mouse. And in vivid color with pretty costumes, I might add.
3) And based on my own work experience, I can tell you that international companies who seek diversity among their employees almost all put females at the top of their list. So I’m not sure it would be easy to convince the much targeted female computer science graduate that a little booty-shaking for the benefit of their male colleagues at Yahoo! isn’t taboo, may be even accepted or encouraged.
So all the gyrating fun, if it happened elsewhere? Not a problem for me. But bringing it into a business environment, where a major brand is represented and photos are taken to share the excitement with the world? Did someone have a dime bag lunch?