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DisGraceful Award in Advertising

September 2002

For Immediate Release


EGADS, e*ECAD SOFTWARE DEPICTS WOMEN AS BRIDES OR WHORES DisGraceful Award Goes to Silicon Valley Billboard That Mocks Women


September 26, 2002 (San Francisco, CA) – What do whores and brides have to do with a flexible payment plan for e*ECAD software, a CAD tool developer based in Santa Clara?


This month’s DisGraceful Award in Advertising, given by Gracenet, a national organization for women in high tech, goes to e*ECAD, for its offensive billboard smack on one of the most heavily travelled freeways in Silicon Valley – on Hwy 101 North in San Jose. The billboard displays a photo of three women illustrating three payment options: one woman garbed in a bridal gown represents the “perpetual” plan, and a woman dressed like a streetwalker denotes the “hourly” option. For a copy of the billboard, see http://www.eecad.com/images/misc/may02/billboard0902.pdf.


“In a climate of economic recession, where every day hundreds of women and men are laid off from their jobs in high tech, a billboard that depicts women as either brides or whores to sell software has no place in this country,” says Sylvia Paull, founder of Gracenet (www.gracenet.net), which is named after pioneer programmer former U.S. Navy Admiral Grace Hopper. Gracenet has been handing out DisGraceful Awards in Advertising to companies that promote sexist advertising in high tech media for the past two years.


The DisGraceful Award in Advertising has been highly successful in alerting the public that professional women and men in the high-tech industry are offended and turned off by sexist advertising. Last year, the CEO of the award recipient InfoUSA.com, not only pulled its ad – which depicted a dominatrix with a whip to sell the company’s database product – but also fired its entire marketing team responsible for creating the ad. Two other ads were pulled as a result of the DisGraceful Award and the media attention they drew.