I've been reading an interesting new book about marketing to women.

I used to work with the authors, who as well as being super-smart, are super-hot chicks.

Oh dear, I probably shouldn't have said that last bit...

Anyway, despite the complete lack of pictures (come on, girls, let's sex it up a bit for the second edition!) there's some great stuff in here.

Their answer to why creative departments are full of men? Because creatives have to fight uncompromisingly for their work, and "Boys always think what they have done is brilliant".

They also have a great bit on women putting down men in advertising:

There are a number of commercials in which some hapless bloke... is the butt of the joke for his partner and her bitchy mate. We think this is an attempt to make the women in the audience feel that the brand is on-side with them... the truth is that... observing a woman humiliating a man in front of other people in an aggressive way does not feel good to the female audience.

It's embarrassing, seems cruel and is not empathetic. We're not saying that women don't sometimes complain about men or their partners, but they usually feel guilty afterwards, and they certainly don't want it played out to the rest of the population in the middle of a prime-time TV show.

And a final point to ponder:

A masculine bias is evidenced not just in the worst work that the industry produces but in the best work too. When you look at awards lists, it is inevitably male brands that are picking up the accolates for the best work.

In fact, analysing the Cannes Gold Lion winners for the last seven years, they find it splits out like this: Male Categories: 82 Lions, Neutral: 43, Female: a paltry 9.

Time to steal that shampoo brief?