Advertising boss Johnny Hornby cancels yacht party saying it would be "inappropriate" after sexism scandal

Lucy White
The CEO was worried that another slip-up might occur with alcohol (Source: Elliott Haworth, City A.M.)

This year hasn't all been plain sailing for advertising boss Johnny Hornby, a fact which he recognised as he revealed he would not be hosting his annual yacht party at the Cannes Lions festival this year.

The chief executive of advertising firm The & Partnership said hosting the party would be "inappropriate" in the wake of a sexism scandal last month, in which a departing male employee sent around an email rating the "top five" women in the office.

In an interview with trade publication Campaign, Hornby said he was trying to build a "new model agency" with The & Partnership.

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"The idea of our agencies plying either our employees or indeed our clients with a large amount of drink over a sustained amount of time is only asking for the kind of trouble that we had a couple of weeks ago," he told Campaign.

"Having invested 20 years of my time building this business, it’s too precious to allow a stupid alcohol-influenced tweet or email to affect that again."

The chief executive is also looking at whether to continue operating the eight bars located in its offices around the world, and is turning to senior women at the organisation to help formulate how behaviour at the agency should look.

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