M&C Saatchi has publicly apologised for some performances at its 21st birthday party celebrations last week.
The ad agency had been celebrating its 21 years of work with an event for staffers, media and clients at The Beresford Hotel in Sydney Thursday this past week.
The party included a number of acts such as burlesque, hip-hop groups, DJs and singers.
On Friday, the party made it into the mainstream media headlines, after a piece from trade media publication Mumbrella, with many calling out the agency for being “sexist” towards women.
M&C Saatchi has issued a formal apology, and is “devastated this has caused office and concern around this issue”.
Below is the apology in full. And if you want to have a gander at some of the pics from the night, check them out here.
“In regards to the article in the Sydney Morning Herald on 23 January 2016, M&C Saatchi would like to issue a public apology.
“On Thursday night, we held a party for our 21st birthday. At no time was there a ‘striptease’ performance. However, as there was a series of performances, the consideration that a burlesque routine may not have been appropriate in this context was overlooked. This has been a strong reminder to be more diligent about ensuring these sensitivities are always at the forefront.
‘Throughout the evening there was a diverse repertoire of acts – soul diva Deni Hines, dance duo Hip Hop boys, satirical performance artistes The Bag Ladies, drag trapeze acrobat Decoda Secret, top Sydney DJ Alex Taylor, acclaimed London DJ Norman Jay MBE and Miss Burlesque Australia 2012, Briana Bluebell.
“We are devastated this has caused offence and concern around this issue. This was not our intent. M&C Saatchi has made huge efforts to champion gender diversity within the Group.
“We have a diverse workforce and the professional development of all our staff, both men and women, is of paramount importance. We have four women on the leadership team, including our general manager, and 50 per cent of our department heads are female. Over the last year, over half our key senior hires have been female (52 per cent) and 72 per cent of our employee promotions were women. In 2014, 18 per cent of our Creative hires were female and in 2015 this increased to 30 per cent of hires. This does not excuse the mistake we made and we have learnt a very important lesson. We hope others have too. This is a critical issue and one that M&C Saatchi will continue to promote. We are committed to doing more to further continue this important conversation.”