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CES 2012: Are the dancing girls really necessary?

TOSY, the robotics company that tomorrow presents Justin Bieber, is one of the first to present scantily clad dancing girls in its booth. Isn't this a little old?

LAS VEGAS--She isn't wearing much. What she is wearing is shiny and silvery. She's dancing in front of you, though her heart doesn't seem to be in it.

It's 10.30 a.m. And yes, it is Vegas. And yes, it is CES 2012.

Every year, one imagines that there will be fewer dancing girls. Every year, one is entirely mistaken.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

My first--but surely not my only--dancing girl sighting Monday morning was at the booth occupied by Vietnamese robotics company TOSY.

This is the company that tomorrow will bring attendees the rapturous glee of witnessing Justin Bieber.

Today, however, two girls in bikini tops and fixed, vacant moods twirled away in front of what seemed like a largely empty booth.

As Michael Jackson played in the background, you wondered if these ladies just wanted to beat it.

Proponents of this method of, um, marketing, explain patiently that sex sells. The truth is that sex doesn't always sell. Sometimes it's presented so tastelessly, so mindlessly, and with such startling irrelevance that it becomes just a little dull.

And yet with so many more men than women trawling around CES in search of excitement, those who choose to feature twirling, whirling ladies will say they're merely pandering to the market.

That's the lovely thing about the folks at Google--they'd want to see the data first.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET