back to article Kaspersky so very sorry after suggesting its antivirus will get you laid

Kaspersky has apologized for displaying a sexist pop-up advert in its security software. It's not sorry about showing adverts on people's PCs, however. The Russian giant's desktop software suite flings adverts, er, news items about Kaspersky products at users who have already paid for its applications. On Friday, one of these …

HCV

Kudos, Kaspersky

It takes a real man to apologize.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kudos, Kaspersky

Even though the complaining reflects more on the psychological problems of the complainers a little like a misinterpreted Rorschach blot ...... rather than reflecting on the actual content of the ad.

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Re: Kudos, Kaspersky

"It takes a real human to apologize."

T,FTFY

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Re: Kudos, Kaspersky

Righty-ho. We won't apologize to yous lot, the disappearing breed of perpetually-offended delicate male who can't get along in the world.

See, this apology and retraction wasn't made in response to people being offended. It was done in response to people finding it inappropriate to cast Kaspersky users as desperate males trawling for incompetent females who will show their gratitude by sharing their dangly bits.

"Butt I'm not a sexist! I even *know* some women! Met them, anyway. Okay, walked by them in the street. Opposite side. I wasn't following them. I just happened to be running in the same direction!"

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The Puritans called

They said they love what's being done with the world today. The outrage an indignation over the slightest imagined disparagement really warm their cold, dead hearts.

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Re: The Puritans called

Nice!

People, if you haven't used your "at works" skills in a private setting repairing/antivirusing a laptop for a cute member of the opposite, or same if you prefer, sex, then you are not a real tech wizard and you should pack up your books and laptop and chuck them into the Thames.

On the other hand, do NOT use your super-skills to hack into your heart's desire's laptop. That's stalking, bro. Be smooth. My first chance was in High School when I learnted the BASIC. You know what I'm talking about. So, the cutest girl in the class needs some help with her code... I just demoed a little bit of BASIC, then threw in a input question block, and proceed to fill it with "Do you have a boyfriend?" Ahhh, young tech love. Don't knock it until you try it. Be respectful, boys. I'm looking RIGHT AT YOU. You know what is proper and not, hopefully. Thank you.

Also, be on your best behaviour in 2024 when the first real woman will be visiting the Internet. Brush your things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Puritans called

Nah I'll leave that to the betas.

First week of university, some girl's laptop was knackered, and my newly made geek friends who I met in the computer lab, spent hours pouring over the piece of crap.

Being an alpha geek, I said fuck that noise and hit the student bar.

Although nobody got laid that night, at least I didn't spend my evening wrenching on some shitty PC World piece of shit, while she flirted with the captain of the football team.

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Silver badge

Re: The Puritans called

I think the real problem is that it wasn't hot enough. Take the Axe commercials. In case you don't know what I'm talking about: a deodorant which is pictured in commercials as a women magnet. Guy sprays something on him at the beach and in no time dozens of bikini clad women (and never any 300 pounders for some reason) jump all over him. My gf actually prefers that I don't use that stuff because of all that (and I can respect that). Edit: not so much because she thinks its sexist, but mostly because she feels it's just so utterly stupid that it's not even funny anymore.

But to my knowledge (read: after some Google searches) I can't find any info about people protesting against that. Just for the record: if I'd show this Kaspersky picture to my gf then I'm 100% sure about what's going to happen: nothing.

Which is another thing to consider: are the protests actually real? For all I know it could be an elaborated setup in order to try and gain even more publicity.

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Re: The Puritans called

@ShelLuser

There are two important differences between Axe ("Lynx" in Australia) and Kaspersky. The first is that Axe is a product specifcally designed for males and thus it is fully understandable that the advertised outcome of using the product is something (at least supposedly) desirable for a man. The second is that Axe is a fragrance. It's purpose is (again, at least supposedly) to make you smell agreeable, particularly to other people. That their ads show women being interested in a man due to him smelling however Axe makes one smell is hardly surprising.

This just doesn't hold for Kaspersky because computer security software is not a product for men and it is not designed as something to make you attractive.

This ad shows women asking a man for help with their complicated computer things because they just can't figure out what all those lights mean and all the buttons do.

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Re: The Puritans called

I find the Lynx commercials far worse than what Kapersky has done here. Honestly, I didn't have any negative reaction to the picture at all. Yes, it happens to be a guy surrounded by women who want to meet him but I didn't get any impression at all that the message was "women can't fix a computer" and more "women will be impressed if you're smart and go to Cybersecurity conferences". Which honestly, I found amusing. None of the women depicted are swooning damsels spilling their tits everywhere whilst an heroic male swoops in and undeletes their selfies for them. They look pretty smart, various and, well, depicted as people. Not as desperate sex-objects like in a Lynx (Axe to Americans) advert.

Seriously, I'm usually pretty sensitive to how women are depicted and viewed in the IT world, and all this ad says to me is "take a date to the cybersecurity conference - you'll attract smart, capable women". The ad is fine.

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Re: The Puritans called

"People, if you haven't used your "at works" skills in a private setting repairing/antivirusing a laptop for a cute member of the opposite, or same if you prefer, sex, then you are not a real tech wizard and you should pack up your books and laptop and chuck them into the Thames."

One time I did that for a fairly cute Swedish friend (she wasn't really a friend then, we became friends after). Didn't quite work out as I ended up having to reformat her laptop without being able to rescue her date. In my defence, one (or more) of the viruses present had done massive damage to all her files, and I don't think even a professional recovery service could have done much.

Thankfully, she was still happy to have a working laptop back, even if it did have none of her data. In fact she was so happy that as noted earlier, we became friends, but also she baked me two amazing cakes.

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Facepalm

Re: The Puritans called

As is often the case, people getting upset about people getting upset at a sexist advert completely miss the point.

The point of this advert is to get women to go to a CyberSecurity World conference. But rather than expound the value of anyone going to the conference, they decide that the best way of achieving it is to get a man to bring them. Cos, what else would a woman be doing there?

The cartoon of the helpless females queuing up for the male to sort them out, is just that; a witless cartoon and not principally what makes this advert crass.

Why Kaspersky feel they specifically need to attract woman to CyberSecurity World is a different question. Perhaps because it features antiquated attitudes like that this advert illustrates?

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Holmes

I wonder...

I wonder if the outrage would still exist if there were a few guys standing in line as well...

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Silver badge

Re: I wonder...

Or maybe the other way around... geek lady with a line of admiring guys? Given the way the world is, any thing even remotely similar will offend someone. Best to stay with inanimate objects in ads... except for the beer commercials and maybe the 'Old Spice' label about "your grandfather"...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wonder...

"geek lady with a line of admiring guys"

How about the Government sponsored "Money Advice service" ads from a couple of years ago which seemed to all consist of feckless man saying "I don't know how we can cope with all these bill" followed by strong "wife/partner" saying "I know what to do, we'll contact the Money Advice service". Actually the "useless man needing woman to sort out problems" is a pretty standard advertising theme - perhaps we should be congratulating Kapersky for reversing a standard sexual stereotype.

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Re: I wonder...

@AC

Actually the "useless man needing woman to sort out problems" is a pretty standard advertising theme - perhaps we should be congratulating Kapersky for reversing a standard sexual stereotype.

Those ads just infuriate me. Sick husband/dad in bed with caring wife who knows how to make it all better or hopeless-in-the-kitchen dad saved by simple jar-based dinner sauce - there are dozens.

But does that make the this instance okay? The point is that this is NOT reversing any stereotypes - it's just another one. And one that, whatever you feel about the validity of the criticism against it, the tech industry really doesn't need any more of.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wonder...

No, because the implication would be completely different.

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Re: I wonder...

Well since there are two problems with the cartoon sex fantasy as it is: "desperate male paying for sex with IT services", and "women lining up to receive IT services in exchange for sex", yes. I think there would still be an outrage. Hint: barter prostitution.

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Re: I wonder...

This is one of the tropes that feminists are working to eliminate.

Female empowerment is also a means to making it socially acceptable for males to adopt "traditionally female" roles such as caregiving, cooking, paying the bills, etc.

If it's okay for girls to wear "boys' clothes" then it's also okay for boys to dress as princesses, too. "Femininity as weakness" is a myth that needs to be destroyed.

Sure, we do it a bit at a time. For example, it would be socially awkward for me to wear a flowing summer dress to work, but it would be only a little bit out of the ordinary for me to wear a kilt.

Hope that helps.

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Mushroom

God damn I hate SJW bullshit

This apologising shit has got to end, you cannot comment on, or do anything without some faggot being so ass-pained that they try to make a federal case out of either a) a bad joke, or b) your opinion which they don't agree with. I read somewhere awhile back that some 40% of millennials would agree to peeling back to 1st amendment if it meant no more rude people on the internet. I declared my home a politically incorrect zone years ago, it's getting so ridiculous now that I might need to a build a wall of some sort or something...I already live in the woods

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Anonymous Coward

Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

10,000 upvotes to you, my fellow real man!

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Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

"... I might need to a build a wall of some sort or something...I already live in the woods"

You could ask some of the male bears to help you, when they're not busy doing whatever it is they do there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

GeekGoat wrote "...my fellow real man!"

...about Katie.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

" GeekGoat wrote "...my fellow real man!"

...about Katie."

Ooops! Real LADY then *0.0;*

Also, see my post below about MRA's.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

You could ask some of the male bears to help you, when they're not busy doing whatever it is they do there.

In California, they seem to be getting prone and readying to take it up the behind. Judging by the flag at least. It's probably the local rape culture...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

Like usual the dog whistle social justice whining deflects from the fact that a corporation is putting intrusive ads on a product that has already been purchased. Granted having to have an antivirus program running constantly on anything but a mail server shows the problem may be with your operating system. Windows 10 especially has plenty of spyware built directly into the OS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

To be fair the same also applies to Android.

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Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

Possibly, the only problem is that my doggies seem to have made friends with the bears (or at least signed some sort of non aggression pact that I missed), they are a bunch or retrievers though, I wouldn't put anything past them that does not involve extra sleeping or much past getting extra puppy treats

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Meh

Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

18 thumbs down prove my point. (inb4 someone reads more into this comment)

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Bronze badge

Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

Calm down, dear friend.

In other headline news: Tech company makes ad not quite naff enough to be self-consciously ironic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: God damn I hate SJW bullshit

>18 thumbs down prove my point. (inb4 someone reads more into this comment)

Actually the even more thumbs up shows why a national party was willing to commit Seppuku and nominated Trump.

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An On-Purpose

I really hate it when organisations or people claim something that was a mistake when they apologize. The ad was deliberate, not a mistake. It may have been an error in judgement, but certainly not a mistake. The term mistake diminishes the apology as it takes no ownership. It also makes it seem like it could happen again. After all, mistakes happen.

Proper use of the word mistake:

Oops, I dropped a cup onto the floor while trying carry three back from the sink and it broke. That was a mistake. Next time I'll be more careful and take them one at a time.

Improper use of the word mistake:

Oops, I slept with your sister when you were on a business trip. I know I shouldn't have. It was a terrible mistake. Please forgive me.

or

Earlier today an inappropriate image appeared in in our product. It has been removed and we deeply regret this mistake and sincerely apologize for the offence we caused with this image,

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Childcatcher

Re: An On-Purpose

We are talking about Eastern Euros and Russians here Mark, different set of rules and upbringing, SHIT I let that slip! call the PC police and ban me! I'm sure there are some 'false flag' injections of ads here or there, but this just looks like some guy and his co-workers and PHB, who thought it would get a laugh, not a sacrifice on the Tumblr alter

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Re: An On-Purpose

Fine, but don't call it a mistake. Either don't apologize, or accept culpability. Don't do it halfway.

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Facepalm

Re: An On-Purpose

A perfect opportunity for a politicians apology: "We apologise to anyone who took offence"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An On-Purpose

Oops, I slept with your sister when you were on a business trip.

How does that demand an apology? Said sister hopefully has her own agency, independent of her brother's.

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Silver badge

Re: An On-Purpose

"We've gone on holiday by mistake."

The classic line from Withnail & I, called to mind by this 'mistake'. Clearly on both occasions not a mistake, a lack of forethought, intelligence, but not a mistake.

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Re: An On-Purpose

who taught you people the meaning of the word mistake?

it's merely a wrong action... it can be done intentionally and realized as wrong after the fact.

holy shit they can't even apologize properly to some of you overly sensitive cunts... #NeverApologize

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An On-Purpose

> How does that demand an apology? Said sister hopefully has her own agency, independent of her brother's.

Unless it's the hubbie who slept with his wife's sister while she (his wife) was on a business trip ... but then the two females should discuss a sharing agreement among themselves ...

It could also be the wife who slept with her husband's sister while HE was away. This sounds like a fun family. Better than mine for sure.

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Re: An On-Purpose

@Mark Eccleston

Without wanting a debate on semantics, something that happens as a result of an "error in judgement" is very much a mistake.

Yes, someone created this ad and others approved it - the ad was deliberate - but the outcome (people being offended) was not. But then, in your example of a 'real' mistake, carrying three cups at a time was also a deliberate action which resulted in an undesired outcome.

I can conceive of no useful meaning of the word 'mistake' that covers the the one but not the other.

In both instances, through insufficient knowledge, forethought, understanding, skill or judgement an action was undertaken that resulted in outcomes other than those desired.

While I quite enjoyed your post and the illustrations, when you say: "The ad was deliberate, not a mistake", I can't feeling that the word you're looking for is "accident".

Which is not to say that calling something is a "mistake" is the same as taking real responsibility but neither does failing to take ownership or apologise adequately mean that what happened wasn't a "mistake".

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Re: An On-Purpose

But sleeping with your sister was fun!

In any case, this advert was no mistake. It was deliberate.

It's the way the world works these days - say what you like, make it up, lie your tits off (possibly, maybe I'm looking at you Trump, you tell me). It doesn't matter if you have to backtrack, the seed has been sown.

Likewise with this ad - it might be taken down now but it got people talking. Maybe not in a good way, but any publicity is good publicity...

Kaspersky's next ad?

"He's not worried about viruses, he uses protection"

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Re: An On-Purpose

You're suggesting that Kapersky did this ad for the exposure resulting from the "controversy". I find it far more likely that to the Russians this was just good natured humour.

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Trollface

Re: An On-Purpose

Oops, I slept with your sister when you were on a business trip. I know I should have done it sooner. That was a terrible mistake, but we're going to make up for it tonight.

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Anonymous Coward

Stop "Criminalizing" Everything Male!

A teeny tiny fraction of easily offended pantywaists is dictating how the world eats, thinks, drinks, speaks and writes.

An entire gender conquered without a shot from Charman Mao's troops or threat of Stalin's gulags.

Bloody grow a pair and be MEN, not domesticated pets, seeking approval of the useless Twitterverse!

It's so bad that most of the MRA's are women, because we have forgot how to be the strong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stop "Criminalizing" Everything Male!

To the downvoters - Take the "Anonymous Coward" masks off and discuss your position. Sell us on why your ways are better for human kind overall. I'll bet you can't!

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Silver badge

Re: Stop "Criminalizing" Everything Male!

"Bloody grow a pair and be MEN, not domesticated pets"

Pushkin - possibly the world's greatest writer at the time - died in a stupid duel because a Frenchman insulted his wife and he had to fight to defend her honour. You think people are sensitive nowadays? Half the stuff on Twitter would have had our ancestors inviting someone to choose a weapon. And, had they decided discretion was the better part of valour, they would have lost their honour, basically their entire status in society.

If you actually try reading stuff from, say, the 17th century, you will find that writers are extremely polite about anybody who might manage to get near them, and their wives and daughters. Writers of scurrilous pamphlets - who had no honour - risked prison or the stocks.

Now if that's the kind of society you want, where you're free to express your opinions provided you don't mind some sensitive expert swordsman deciding to take offence so you can be used for target practice, well and good, but please have it somewhere else.

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