Feeds

MoD auction site looks to spice up couples' sex life

Peddles 'His 'n' hers' uniform sets

Boost IT visibility and business value

A cash-strapped UK Ministry of Defence is resorting to increasingly desperate measures in the struggle to get its finances back on track. The latest of these is the setting up of an eBay-style online auction site to flog the military's surplus gear, already reported in these pages.

Most of the wares on offer are relatively mundane – tents, bulletproofed Discovery landrovers, obscure bits of electronics. An initial frisson of excitement on seeing the sections titled 'aircraft' and 'ships' soon wears off, as all the good stuff has evidently been snapped up already by bargain-conscious dictators and military juntas. The only ships left are a rowboat and some rusty old tugs. The aircraft section is full of Brazilian-designed Tucano trainers, no doubt well thrashed by student pilots over the years and now mostly listed as "non-effective" and "heavily spares recovered" – estate agent speak for "suicide to go up in a crate like that" and "stripped of all useful components".

Merchandise like this will never get the Disposal Services Agency up to eBay-like levels of turnover, so the government auctioneers have resorted to a time-honoured marketing tool – sex. A number of items of military uniform are offered on the site in "two pack packages for him and her." The online listings describe these as "ideal for re-enactment events, filming or fancy dress."

When asked what kind of film or fancy dress event features a couple dressed in military uniform, officials at the disposal agency have been keen to stress that their wares are intended primarily for healthy outdoor pursuits, momentarily causing fevered speculation at Vulture Central. However, it seems that in fact this was meant to refer to hiking or camping, rather than anything more risque.

Nonetheless, some items packaged as "his 'n' hers", such as dress uniform with ties and a skirt for the lady, wouldn't seem ideally suited for hill-walking. Even respectable journalists have speculated that in fact the intended customers might be couples looking to spice up their sex life – an established market segment (NSFW), after all. A source at the Disposals Agency was willing to confirm that "proximity to Valentine's Day" had been a factor in the timing of the auctions.

It's also possible to surmise that the MoD may be targeting other niche retail areas, with at least one set of female formal kit offered on its own. Exhaustive web research has uncovered – so to speak – at least one possible customer (NSFW).

Defence analysts look forward keenly to further revelations.®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law
Welcome in a New Era ... of copyright litigation
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.