Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sex and the Nerd

Now we all know nothing sells things like sex. It is the natural choice for advertising anything phallic (such as chocolate bars) or compensatory (such as cars or alcohol and indeed chocolate bars). But there really is no excuse to use it for IT recruitment. But that is definitely a trend I'm seeing in the Netherlands in the last couple of years, and no doubt world-wide.
This is a case in point for Peak IT, a name which in itself is practically a single entendre. The girl depicted looks unlike any programmer or system administrator I ever met. Most people doing such jobs are men, so the ad must be saying "this is what you could get if you let us find you an IT job." Because it ain't saying, "this is what most of our clients look like." At its most accurate, the statement would be, "this is what the PA to the CEO of the company you work in the basement for looks like. If you're lucky, you might get to install something on her computer, but she'll leave the room as soon as you enter it. Placing your memory stick in her laptop will never be anything more than innuendo."

This ad is for a careers event and features someone far too young to be wearing that much makeup and with a strangely distant look in her eye, giving the impression not of IT or other office work, but of child prostitution.

Even the company I work for has started a campaign to recruit young graduates featuring a "sample" of employees looking far more attractive than anyone I've seen working there. It's only going to lead to disappointment, resentment, frustration and ultimately to someone going postal one day. Fortunately the people with guns in this world are not IT professionals. People with guns work in the illegal drugs or sex industry where the money's even better and ironically it's not too difficult to score yourself a teenage girl wearing far too much make-up and a vacant stare.