Naughty nurses draw fire at CeBIT Australia. I'm taking time out from the Twitter for n00bs series to laugh at a particular event exhibitor at the IT industry trade show CeBIT which I know many of my Twitter mates attended, journalist Ben Grubb included.

So it appears that promotional models at the event caused a stir, particularly among the marginalised female IT crowd, after they wore novelty doctor and nurses uniforms, plugging into a stereotypical porn fantasy. They were part of a marketing ploy by web hosting company NetRegistry playing on those cheesy sexual impotence ads and accompanied by posters baring the slogan "Want longer lasting server up-time?"

Not only deemed demeaning to female geeks, the outfits were sort of innappropriate for a professional trade show. Playing on sexual fantasies? Um.. nice way to show that you couldn't go above the cliched 'sex sells.' At least it wasn't as bad as Nando's latest though, I'll give NetRegistry that credit.

NetRegistry said the gag was directed by "women and a gay guy," but what on earth does this have to do with anything? Does this for some unknown reason make it okay? I don't think so. They offended people and it shouldn't make it any different who gave the all-clear.

Grubb writes something which amuses me:

Mr Bloch [NetRegistry cheif] admitted the IT industry was challenging for women, but offered no apology for his marketing department's strategy.

"I think IT is a challenging industry for women... clearly that is a problem," he said.

But the executive was hesitant to draw conclusions when asked if his company's actions would deter women from joining the industry.

I'm not hesitant at all to make to those conclusions, Mr Bloch. I am offended, not only by the blantant sexism in yet another marketing campaign, but your serious lack of imagination when marketing at an event. It might have been a bit of lighthearted fun to many, but you might have just kicked a lot of intelligent "chicks" out of the IT industry and back into the kitchen. And no, I am not collecting your latte!