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OnePlus asked users to vote on women in sexist competition

The OnePlus One, despite being an undeniably attractive piece of hardware, hasn’t been marketed terribly well. Now OnePlus has gone one step further with what is creating just terrible publicity in an online competition it launched yesterday. 

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The promotional picture for the "Ladies First" contest. / © OnePlus

The contest was to allow people the opportunity to buy one of its smartphones. (Can you see a problem already?) OnePlus has been facing production issues and so has been offering its phones on an invitation only basis. However, this competition wasn’t just open to anyone. The ridiculous, sexist contest, held in one of its forums, asked women to pose with a picture of the OnePlus insignia somewhere on their bodies. Users would then vote on which picture/degraded female they preferred. The “winner” of the competition would then receive the chance to buy the OnePlus One, along with a t-shirt.

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The OnePlus One may never sell if it continues to use its current marketing tactics. / © OnePlus, AndroidPIT

OnePlus has since pulled the “Ladies First” contest, due to a could-have-easily-been-predicted backlash. A OnePlus spokesperson later sent a message to The Verge stating that they “deeply regret any offense caused by this contest” and that it was “very misguided”. They also stated that they had “failed to better include our female community” which, if that was their intention, is even more disappointing for all involved.

Fearing that they might be connected to the scandal by association, Cyanogen Inc. (creators of the Android CyanogenMod rom that the OnePlus runs on) took to Twitter to distance itself with the following tweet:

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Cyanogen Inc. were quick to clarify that it had no part of the OnePlus contest. / © Cyanogen Inc.

The deep-rooted sexism that pervades every area of tech industry continues to be discussed regularly - contests like this do not help. While we still might be might be light-years away from seeing women at trade shows like CES represented as, you know, people, rather than technology set-dressing, the speed at which this issue was questioned, addressed, and then apologized for gives us some small hope for the future.

What do you think of OnePlus's contest?

Source: The Verge

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