Richard John has a Bacchanalian feast of moralising to keep us on the straight and narrow
The impact of Harvey Weinstein’s revolting behaviour is being felt worldwide, not least in the corridors of Westminster. But one thing that stuck in my mind, as MPs abruptly followed ministers out of political office, was that the various allegations of assault or other inappropriate behaviour were invariably followed by the words ‘at a conference’. Should organisers be worried? Are we responsible for creating environments that are clearly Dens of Iniquity?’
Well, yes, if you work for the world tennis body ATP, who thought that revealing the draw for their Next Gen finals would be best undertaken by models losing various items of clothes to show who would play whom. “Our execution was in poor taste and unacceptable,” said the chief executive at a quickly organised Stating the Bleeding Obvious press conference.
But before you nod sagely in agreement, let me remind you that our industry is awash with such practices. Many exhibitors will have been approached by agencies suggesting that their brands can be enhanced in a live environment by hiring a ‘pretty girl’ demonstrating your core values by wearing a tight T-shirt and inviting visitors back to the 1980s.
And right now you’ll also have the fast-approaching joy of the office Christmas party to contend with, where inappropriate sexual innuendo inevitably appears on the menu between the after-dinner mints and the first chords of Slade as the festive disco strikes up.
Nope, this isn’t me being all prudish, and if I hear you murmuring the phrase ‘political correctness gone mad’ I’m going to come around to your office and give you a figgy pudding enema.
Oh, and don’t think you have to implement new guidelines on acceptable behaviour in the workplace, as our PM has just suggested. The law is robust enough to protect you, as an organiser, and all your staff, regardless of circumstances. And there’s always something called ‘basic common sense’ to back you up.
I wish you the compliments of the season. May your Christmas orgy be wonderful in its design, ground-breaking in its execution and entirely consensual all round.