IBM found itself badly singed when a campaign to encourage an interest in science among girls ignited a furore on social media. The “Hack a Hair Dryer” campaign sought to dispel the myth that science and engineering is a man’s world, by taking the view that women could only relate to these topics via styling equipment.
Feeling the heat, IBM withdrew the offending videos, and admitted that they had “missed the mark” – a welcome change from the usual “creating a conversation” cliche peddled by errant PR departments.
Feedback had hoped that after such misfires as EDF’s Pretty Curious campaign (Science: It’s a Girl Thing! video, we’d make it a little further into 2016 without reporting on another dubious cosmetic effort to address the gender divide in science. Roll on 2017!