Govt site advertises job ads for ‘internet babe chat’


by Sunny Hundal    
9:06 am - December 10th 2012

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The government’s Job Centre website, which carries job advertisements, has published an ad calling for female presenters for “internet babe chat”.

The ad for Loaded TV drew condemnation last night from MPs but still remains online.

It asks for ‘Home Internet Presenters’, and lists as the job description:

Females Presenters required for home internet work for internet babe chat.

Pay is dependant on how much you work and how well you do. You set the rates and your in control of the hours you do.

On Twitter last night the Labour MP Gemma Doyle said the ad was “disgraceful”.

When the Conservatives came to power in 2010, they said that ads for sex industry workers would be banned from job centres, as the jobs could lead to exploitation.

It’s not clear why the ban doesn’t apply to the above ad.

Update: The Job Centre website has now removed the ad.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Hmm. I dunno. Most adults can distinguish between talking about sex and having sex.

3. Chaise Guevara

Why doesn’t Gemma Doyle know what “pimping” means?

The Job Centre’s duty is to help people get jobs. It can’t do that if it doesn’t advertise them. While I’m sure plenty of people will be all scandalised and affronted, it’s a legal and legitimate job and shouldn’t be hidden from candidates due to po-faced discrimination.

As for why this isn’t being covered by a sex industry ban, you yourself say the ban was designed to stop potential exploitation, and I don’t see how that’s a risk here.

4. Chaise Guevara

…Oh, and set a precedent for hiding jobs that people find offensive and you’ll have to hide jobs at abortion clinics, evolution-based science outfits, churches, butchers etc. etc. etc.

At the same time, how far are we away from making women do these jobs when they’ve been ‘feckless’ enough to not find a job in the first 13 weeks of unemployment?

On top of that it’ll probably be workfare too!

7. Churm Rincewind

Chaise at (4) has it right. It’s not up to Job Centres to determine which jobs “could lead to exploitation”. It’s an impossible remit, given that it all depends on what’s meant by “exploitation”.

Outside of loopy remnants of religious guilt, on any objective measure sitting at home talking to wankers on the phone is far less exploitative than a 12-hour shift washing dishes or cleaning hotel rooms.

8 john b i disagree.

“Outside of loopy remnants of religious guilt, on any objective measure sitting at home talking to wankers on the phone is far less exploitative than a 12-hour shift washing dishes or cleaning hotel rooms.”

i can only assume you have no daughter

Odd thing to assume, and rather sexist. You happen to be right; but I’d rather a future child of mine of either gender worked on a sex chatline than a building site – I don’t have Victorian hangups about sex, but I am strongly averse to people I love returning home in a box.

I’ve done sexual things for money back in the day though: not the best employment I’ve ever had but a very long way from the worst (the worst was piecework flyering letterboxes, in case you wondered).

10. john b
“but I’d rather a future child of mine of either gender worked on a sex chatline than a building site”

i can only assume you have no children and your view “will” change when you have.

12. Chaise Guevara

@ 11 littleox

Ad homs aside, do you have any actual arguments in favour of your position? It’s not like parents get to order their adult progeny to take certain jobs, anyway, so it’s irrelevant on two counts.

13. James from Durham

Wouldn’t this ad have breached equal opportunities legislation? Can they insist on female applicants only?

14. Chaise Guevara

@ 13 James

Equal op legislation makes exceptions where gender and so on are central to the job. Otherwise film-makers would get sued for not casting octogenarian men as female leads in rom coms. T’would be silly.

“Equal op legislation makes exceptions where gender and so on are central to the job. ”

Well as Tim points out, as the job only requires the applicant to talk about sex, then a man should be equally well qualified.

16. Chaise Guevara

@ 15 Jimmy

“Well as Tim points out, as the job only requires the applicant to talk about sex, then a man should be equally well qualified.”

The job requires the applicant to talk about sex to arouse straight men. And incidentally I’m guessing “internet babe chat” includes video, although I can’t be certain. But the point is, to put it crudely and accurately, that the job requires that the applicant be someone that straight men will like to masturbate over. If there’s no video, then I suppose a bloke who can convincingly sound like a sexy woman is entitled to the job, unless hiring him would constitute false advertising.

Are you two seriously raising this as an issue? There are interesting questions surrounding the “sexiness as part of the job spec” concept, e.g. whether a restaurant owner can legitimately claim that he only hires good-looking women because part of their job is to be attractive to the customers (I’d say that’s dodgy most of the time, but with an outlet like Hooters it seems like a valid point). But “surely straight men will be as turned on by men as they are by women” is not one of those interesting questions.

17. Waterloo Sunset

@ 8 littleox

I don’t have a daughter, but I’ve actually done similar work for around six months. Does that make me more of an expert than you?

It sucked less than a lot of other jobs I’ve ever done. I got to play music and mess around on the net when I wasn’t working. And smoke. That’s so much less shit than call center work.

@ 16

Quite honestly, as a straight man, it’s hardly rocket science working out how to “arouse straight men”.

“False advertising” is arguable here. Yes, but no more so than a close friend of mine who never told men who asked what she was wearing that she was sitting there in her trackie bottoms without makeup on.

And not once did either of us mention that we were cut and pasting particularly stupid lines to each other for mockery purposes.

(I’m sorry if I’ve blown any chat users fantasies here).

So really, if it’s chat only the only question in terms of job specs is “employees prepared to pretend that they’re women attracted to men”.

If this was video chat, that’s obviously different.

The main concern about it being advertised via the job center is the increasing tendency towards punitive action against claimants who refuse jobs. This kind of thing does require a willingness to talk about sex and, preferably, a degree of cynicism. It’s not something I think anyone should be forced to do under the threat of losing their benefit.

18. Chaise Guevara

@ 17 Waterloo Sunset

“Yes, but no more so than a close friend of mine who never told men who asked what she was wearing that she was sitting there in her trackie bottoms without makeup on.”

LOL, good point.

“The main concern about it being advertised via the job center is the increasing tendency towards punitive action against claimants who refuse jobs. This kind of thing does require a willingness to talk about sex and, preferably, a degree of cynicism. It’s not something I think anyone should be forced to do under the threat of losing their benefit.”

100% agreed. If we’re going to have this kind of carrot-and-stick system, I think there should be reasonable grounds for vegetarians not working in butchers etc. And absolutely anyone, regardless of past employment, should be able to safely turn down any role with a sexual element. I’d extend that as far as waitressing jobs where the uniform requires a miniskirt.

Well this is fantastic sex trade adverts at the job centre how amazing , an this brings hope to me an other disabled people as despite being in agony all across our bodys we have been told if we can
Push A BUTTON we can go back to work
so if we all move into pushing buttons in the sex trade we can still have fiscal support,

so oil your wheel chairs because we need
you all making squeeky cleen dignified wheel chair
pornography an prostitution lets get britain Back to work, an dont let your bad back stop you,
dose up on pain killers an push buttons instead

20. Chaise Guevara

@ 19 eggsmell

Look, I’m 100% with you on the disability issue. The government’s attitude towards disability welfare is utterly disgusting. But you’re conflating two issues here. I don’t see how this story affects disabled people’s rights, unless you’ve got a serious reason to suggest that disabled people (or indeed anyone) is going to be refused benefits because they don’t want to work in the sex trade.

It appears we’re treating disabled people badly but people in the sex industry reasonably. That’s at least better than treating both groups badly, surely?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Govt site advertises job ads for 'internet babe chat' http://t.co/oo1rNXvB

  2. David Carter

    Govt site advertises job ads for 'internet babe chat' http://t.co/oo1rNXvB

  3. Emma Bushell

    Govt site advertises job ads for 'internet babe chat' http://t.co/oo1rNXvB

  4. Max

    Govt site advertises job ads for 'internet babe chat' http://t.co/oo1rNXvB

  5. Jason Brickley

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  6. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Govt site advertises job ads for ‘internet babe chat’ http://t.co/dKuQpUKF

  7. Pat Martin

    Govt site advertises job ads for 'internet babe chat' http://t.co/oo1rNXvB

  8. EVAW Coalition

    Govt site advertises job ads for 'internet babe chat' http://t.co/oo1rNXvB

  9. Alex Braithwaite

    Govt site advertises job ads for ‘internet babe chat’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/MxkP3r6E via @libcon

  10. not1plebfish

    Govt site advertises job ads for ‘internet babe chat’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/MxkP3r6E via @libcon

  11. Jatkins

    RT @sunny_hundal: Job Centre website runs ad for ‘internet babe chat’ presenters; takes it down after outcry http://t.co/14REEv4Z << HAHAHAH

  12. schpartakus

    Job Centre website runs ad for ‘internet babe chat’ presenters; takes it down after outcry http://t.co/ff8MT9QP

  13. Julie Bindel

    Govt site advertises job ads for ‘internet babe chat’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/1xwDkNtE via @libcon

  14. gina sargunar

    Job Centre website runs ad for ‘internet babe chat’ presenters; takes it down after outcry http://t.co/ff8MT9QP

  15. Ben Raza

    Job Centre website runs ad for ‘internet babe chat’ presenters; takes it down after outcry http://t.co/ff8MT9QP

  16. Stephe Meloy

    Job Centre website runs ad for ‘internet babe chat’ presenters; takes it down after outcry http://t.co/ff8MT9QP

  17. Tim Gillott

    Job Centre website runs ad for ‘internet babe chat’ presenters; takes it down after outcry http://t.co/ff8MT9QP

  18. Catriona Grant

    Govt site advertises job ads for ‘internet babe chat’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/1xwDkNtE via @libcon

  19. Bernadette Hawkes

    Job Centre website runs ad for ‘internet babe chat’ presenters; takes it down after outcry http://t.co/ff8MT9QP

  20. John B

    Struggling to see how talking to wankers on the phone is more 'exploitative' than hard manual labour for minimum wage http://t.co/yW6OdUwV





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