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Ad Club’s night of shame: Condemnation by Mumbai Press Club, Shiv Sena MLC

Four days since the assault on CNBC Awaaz’s Shibani Gharat happened on September 14 at the Emvies awards event, neither the Ad Club nor its top functionaries have come out with an official apology

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 16, 2015

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The outrage continues over the assault on a young female television reporter, Shibani Gharat, at the Ad Club's Emvies event held at the St Regis Hotel, earlier known as Palladium, in Mumbai’s Lower Parel, on Friday night at 11.30 PM. The Mumbai Press Club has come out with a strong condemnation of the event. At the same time, Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe wnet on air on Marathi news channel, IBN Lokmat, to strongly condemn the incident and has been following up on the case.

As of now, four days since the incident happened, neither the Ad Club nor its top functionaries have come out with an official apology.

However, there is a sense of outrage within the larger advertising community at the security lapses, mismanagement and the alleged sheer apathy shown by some of the Ad Club’s senior functionaries. Many industry seniors have said so in private conversations and have promised to bring up the matter very soon with the Ad Club management committee. Somebody has to explain and own up, they say. As one industry senior said on phone, “It is a matter of an entire industry’s image. Besides, we have a longstanding relationship with the media, and this kind of apathy is unacceptable.”

Neelam Gorhe told IBN Lokmat in the course of her five-minute interview: “Nowadays everywhere misbehaviour towards women is increasing, be it in public places and whatever time of the day…The man should be ashamed but unfortunately the girl has to face it…I will dig deep into this whole situation and see to it the man is punished for this behaviour.”

In a statement released on September 14, 2015, Rajesh Mascarenhas, Secretary, Mumbai Press Club, said: “The role of the executives of The Advertising Club and Fountainhead (the event management company) was disgraceful to say the least as it was at their invitation the assailant Rambabu Godia managed to sneak into the event. The assailant is a peon at a garment shop, and had nothing to do with the advertising industry or the Emvie awards. It now turns out that an employee of Fountainhead, which organized the event, gave a complimentary pass to the assailant. The accused has been arrested and remanded in judicial custody till September 25.”

Mascarenhas has demanded an apology from the organisers. He said: “We demand that the event organisers own up and apologize to the lady journalist and compensate her for her ordeal. The Ad Club and Fountainhead should also launch an internal inquiry and penalize those who were responsible for the lax security at the event. They must also make sure for future events that the safety of journalists especially women is provided for.”

Meanwhile, Ravi Balakrishnan, Editor of Brand Equity of The Economic Times, when asked, denied speculation that ET was planning to boycott Ad club events. He told BestMediaInfo: “I'd like to clarify that we are not boycotting Ad Club events. While that's the case, we are hoping that the Ad Club will address the security concerns this incident has raised.”

It is also reliably learnt that the Mumbai Police have taken into their custody the CCTV footage of the event held at the St Regis Hotel, earlier known as Palladium  as well as the footage where the incident happened.

Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe on IBN Lokmat:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2uqnXc_XeY[/youtube]

Full text of Mumbai Press Club statement:

A lady journalist who was coming out of the St Regis (earlier Palladium), a 5-star hotel in Lower Parel, after covering the Advertising Club of Bombay's Emvie awards, was brutally attacked by a ‘guest’ at the event around 11.30 pm on Friday night.

The lady journalist raised an alarm and the Phoenix Mall security staff managed to detain the offender, Rambabu Ramprakash Godia, who was in a completely inebriated condition. Initially, the organizers of the Emvie event, not made any move to summon the police to take the assailant into custody. The police were ultimately contacted by the fellow journalists. More shockingly, the Advertising Club, and the event coordinator, Fountainhead, made no move to intervene even after the police registered an FIR against the assailant'. The journalist repeatedly contacted the executives, but no assistance was rendered though she was in the police station till 3.00 am in the morning.

The role of the executives of The Advertising Club and Fountainhead was disgraceful to say the least as it was and their invitation the assailant Rambabu Godia managed to sneak into the event. The assailant is a peon at a garment shop, and had nothing to do with the advertising industry or the Emvie awards. It now turns out that an employee of Fountainhead, which organized the event, gave a complimentary pass to the assailant. The accused has been arrested and remanded in judicial custody till September 25.

We demand that the event organisers own up and apologize to the lady journalist and compensate her for her ordeal. The Ad Club and Fountainhead should also launch an internal inquiry and penalize those who were responsible for the lax security at the event. They must also make sure for future events that the safety of journalists especially women is provided for.

Rajesh Mascarenhas

Secretary

Mumbai Press Club

September 14, 2015

Also read: Commentary: Ad Club’s Emvies night of shame as Shibani Gharat is assaulted

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