Oh no, the fun police have won! The world’s biggest media company, WPP, has sent staff at its New York offices a memo relating to “alcohol and the workplace” and its bad news for staffers who like a tipple on company time.
The memo was obtained by industry site PR Week who revealed that the policy was to “ensure the safe consumption of alcohol by employees and other guests at work related events”.
The new policy states: “No drinks trolleys should be provided nor alcohol consumed at desks or in work areas.”
It’s unclear if the drinking policy will be a global initiative or affect its Australian operations, however, a WPP AUNZ spokesperson told B&T via a statement: “WPP AUNZ workplace policies are for internal use only. However, what we can say is WPP AUNZ encourages the safe and responsible consumption of alcohol by all its employees and other guests at all times.”
However, it wasn’t all bad news for boozy staffers. The new policy still allowed drinking when entertaining clients, however, it needed to be limited to designated areas such as lounges or on-site bars and for “generally no more than two hours”.
It stated non-alcoholic drinks and food needed to be available and the wishes of teetotalling staff needed to be respected. Safe travel arrangements also needed to be made for staffers who had been “impaired” by alcohol.
WPP claimed the memo was merely an updated version of a policy that had long existed. It also follows on from last week’s revelations of alleged financial impropriety by company CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell, and a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former JWT communications officer Erin Johnson against the agency’s former CEO, Gustavo Martinez.