Iris Worldwide CEO apologises for causing offence with ‘Iris on Benefits’ staff booklet

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By The Drum Team | Editorial

September 7, 2012 | 1 min read

The CEO of global advertising agency Iris, Ian Millner, has apologised following the negative response online to the release of an internal staff booklet featuring agency staff as chavs and people receiving state funded aid.

The booklet is said to have been based on the Channel 4 series Shameless, but has provoked an outcry online with one agency blogger describing the booklet as “sneering, superior and ignorant.”

Other criticism through Twitter was also aimed at the booklet.

As a result of the response, Millner released the following apology to The Drum; “We’re genuinely sorry for any offence caused by our iris Benefits booklet. It is in no way meant to poke fun at anyone other than ourselves. We parodied the well-loved programme ‘Shameless’ and our staff took part in those roles to raise a bit of internal attention to our great benefits package. But in hindsight, we can see how, if taken out of context, people could have seen it as offensive. If this has annoyed or upset anyone, we're sorry.”

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