Businessweek: Polls of student attractiveness were “in poor taste”

The Daily Dot
Bloomberg Businessweek unpublished a feature over the weekend that asked the question “Which business school has the most attractive female students?”

“We regret issuing two online polls last week that asked our readers to comment on which business schools have the most attractive male and female students,” Businessweek head of communications Rachel Nagler tells Poynter in an email. “The Face/Off polls have been taken down from businessweek.com. They were in poor taste and undermine the tremendous value our Business Schools vertical provides.”

Aja Romano looks into how the feature, published Friday, went south. After the publication tweeted the story, Romano writes,

Reaction to the tweet was swift and universally negative, with most reactions either of appalled horror and disbelief or smirking potshots.

Businessweek took down the piece and deleted the tweet, Romano reports, but both survive in the Internet’s museum of horrors. The “data” on the b-schools’ attractive students comes from a partnership with College Prowler, which surveys students on various aspects of campus life. Businesweek has been running results of those surveys since 2008, Romano writes, noting, “The lists generated virtually no discussion.”

The 2012 list didn’t even generate any heat at the schools named in the piece, as far as I could tell. The University of Virginia’s Cavalier Daily doesn’t appear to have tweeted or written about the news its Darden School of Business finished in a three-way tie for first in the poll. Neither did the Boston University Daily Free Press, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Badger Herald, Michigan State University’s State News, or The Greyhound of Loyola University Maryland. The Darden School did retweet its place on a less controversial Businessweek list, published today: “B-Schools With Five-Star Teachers.”

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