'We're here for a meeting.'
At 8pm on a Bank Holiday Sunday, the following was sent to my incomparable colleague Jamie by a group of gibbons in dunce hats called SEC Newgate.
From: Alistair Kellie
Date: 7 May 2023 at 20:05:38 BST
To: Jamie Hamilton <[email protected]>
Subject: Jennette Newman
Jennette Newman has been in touch with me over the weekend regarding your latest article on Ince. She’s understandably very upset by your reference to her being sadomasochistic - paragraph below.
Jennette Newman, Managing Partner of Ince Gordon Dadds and now Ince & Co, said that “Since joining the firm in December 2021, I have enjoyed enormously working with our teams and clients”, which, given the almost unbelievable parade of catastrophes the firm has stumbled through during that time and culminating in its implosion, suggests a serious sadomasochistic streak.
It’s not yet a criminal offence under the new online safety bill but is likely to be libellous and potentially discriminatory as a sex related comment.
We ask that you remove this reference immediately; that you apologise to Jennette and that you make a donation to a mental health charity.
Please confirm receipt and action asap.
Alistair Kellie | Co Head, Communications
Communications Agency of the Year – UK Business Green Awards 2023 (shortlisted)
PR Agency of the Year – Headlinemoney Awards 2023 (shortlisted)
Best Social Media Campaign, Best Use of a Communication Tool and Best Use of Video - PRCA Digital Awards 2023 (shortlisted)
Best Banking Communications Campaign - PRCA City & Financial Awards 2023 (shortlisted)
Best Integrated Agency for Corporate and Public Affairs – PR Week CCPA 2023 (shortlisted)
Best Handling of an IPO – PR Week CCPA Awards 2022
Best IPO Campaign – PRCA City & Financial Awards 2021/2022
Best CSR Content - Corporate Content Awards 2022
I had not heard of this agency. Presumably this lacuna is entirely on me given the massive number of (almost) awards that are listed in the footnote. I mean, SHORTLISTED for Best use of a communication tool and best use of video by PRCA Digital awards? How could this have escaped my attention? Do you think the sender also has his bicycle proficiency award and 50m swim badge?
Presumably he does not count any legal qualifications on his CV. If he did, he would know that there was nothing remotely defamatory or discriminatory about the comment. Jamie was simply joking that someone who professes to have enjoyed working at a law firm that was spectacularly collapsing must have an unusual relationship with pain. To borrow from passing off, even the proverbial moron in a hurry would not consider that Jamie had bumped into Jennette walking out of Torture Garden with a glint in her eye. The suggestion of misogyny and implication of criminality is beyond grubby.
So clearly we will not be taking down the article. Nor will Jamie, in the manner of a repentant mediaeval monarch, prostrate himself, issue a mea culpa and give alms to the infirm. Nice try though.