Escobar Fold One smartphone by Escobar Inc

"Do we still need girls showing boobs to sell a smartphone?"

In this week's comments update, readers are disgusted by a marketing campaign for a gold flip phone launched by Pablo Escobar's brother. 

Moral high-ground: readers have been left furious after Roberto Escobar, brother of the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, used a highly sexualised campaign featuring women in their underwear to promote the launch of a gold folding phone.

"Does the phone only work when you are in your lingerie?" asked James Beckett sarcastically.

"Do we still need girls showing boobs to sell a smartphone?" continued HZ. "From where did the money come?"

"I feel like I've entered a time machine and have been transported back to the 1970s," said Redge. "And then I realise the ad is for a mobile phone. I'm male and whilst I am a big fan of the female form, is it just me that finds this sort of ad unacceptable?"

"A misogynistic, remora-fish-of-a-criminal raises money from all his friends to blow on a horrifically designed piece of tech, all so that he can hang out with some Russian models for a few hours," lamented Christopher Gon De Leeuw. "The very sad thing is that a lot of people will buy this and put it on their nightstand, underneath scarface posters and next to a Monster energy drink."

This reader thought the story was a joke:

What do you think of the campaign? Join the discussion ›

Cameron Sinclair 

Money matters: commenters are divided over humanitarian architecture pioneer Cameron Sinclair's claims that unpaid architecture interns in Japan are exploited by their employers.

"Young, inventive, struggling with day to day journeys... this is the learning field," said Bill Barker. "They will be far better for it. If they are talented enough to be selected they will be creative enough to make it work."

Happy Pancakes felt similarly: "Maybe it’s more about discipline than exploitation that’s part of the Japanese culture. Sushi chefs in training have to boil rice for six years before they can even touch a piece of fish. 'Wax on Wax off' – Mr. Miyagi."

"I’m glad someone is taking on this issue publicly," said Scholar in contrast. "Unpaid labor should be illegal and should be punished."

"I would suggest that Sinclair starts with London and big name practices, then the UK, then Europe prior to venting his Ire on Japan," concluded Clichy.

This reader agreed:

Are unpaid architecture interns in Japan exploited by their employees? Join the discussion ›

Nithurst Farm by Adam Richards in England, UK

Location house: British architect Adam Richards has modelled his home in Petwork, England, on the Russian science-fiction film Stalker, and readers are intrigued.

"If someone asks me 'what does pretentious mean?' I will show them this house," said Miles Teg.

"I find it rather personal," replied James. "It's eccentric, sure, but I don't find anything pretentious about it."

JZ went on: "The Hejdukian, allegorical qualities are strong with this one. Rich material palette. Clearly planned with a series of processional experiences in mind. When you have these kinds of resources, I find this design a much more substantive use of them rather than the typical Modernist blow-outs."

"All credit to the architect who wants their family home to be influenced by a Russian dystopian nightmare," added Alfred Hitchcock.

This reader was diplomatic:

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Pantone colour of the year 2020 is Classic Blue

Trend setter: Pantone has chosen its colour of the year for 2020 – "universal favourite" Classic Blue – which it describes as "a reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence and connection". Readers aren't convinced though.

"Design's equivalent of reading horoscopes," said Louis Heatlie.

"And why is this relevant design news?" continued Philippe. "Some schmuck decides he or she is going to like blue next year – 'damn, now I need to change all my belongings otherwise I'll be so 2019.' Think I'm going to stick to black, like all the other years."

Archiplan agreed: "It is better to precede fashion than to follow it."

"It feels like a depressingly accurate prediction of the upcoming UK election," added Charlie Humble-Thomas on a different note.

This reader had an alternative name for the colour:

What do you think of Pantone's choice? Join the discussion ›