WPP has said that it will no longer support the annual Presidents Club dinner in London in light of a report on the behavior of attendees at the lavish event.
The Financial Times reported yesterday that this year’s black tie business event was attended by 360 prominent individuals, which included WPP taking a table, hosted by European chief operating officer Andrew Scott.
The evening was hosted by David Walliams, with other attendees understood to have included Dragon’s Den’s Peter Jones and Arcadia Group’s Phillip Green.
The FT reported that it secured two undercover reporters as hostesses at the event, which had a reputation for being a raucous occasion.
“Over the course of six hours, many hostesses were subjected to groping, lewd comments and repeated requests to to join diners elsewhere in the Dorchester,” the report stated.
As a result, WPP has told The Drum that it will no longer support the event, having heard these claims.
A statement by the company said: “WPP has traditionally sponsored a table at the Presidents Club dinner to support its fundraising for children’s charities. Neither the company nor our attendees were aware of the alleged incidents until informed of them by the Financial Times.
"WPP takes these reports very seriously and, while we will continue to support relevant charities, in light of the allegations we are ending our association with the event.”
Chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell was not present at this year’s dinner, as he was speaking at a conference in Davos, voicing his views that Google and Facebook were acting increasingly like media companies.
In the wake of condemnation over the harassment allegations that took place at the event, The Presidents Club has decided to cease hosting further events.
In a statement, the organisation said: "The trustees have decided that the Presidents Club will not host any further fundraising events.
"Remaining funds will be distributed in an efficient manner to children's charities and it will then be closed."