started this petition to
The Argus Newspaper, Brighton
Mr Arron Hendy
Head of Content
2‐5 Manchester Street,
Dear Mr Hendy
We, the undersigned staff, managers, and owners of Brighton’s pubs and bars, are writing to express an industry‐wide condemnation of your “Pub Spy” column.
We have long embraced the fact that reviews from professional critics and customers alike are part of the hospitality culture. However, it is clear that the Pub Spy is not interested in providing a balanced or even informed review of the establishments he visits, rather he is producing click‐generating content at the expense of these local businesses. On several occasions he has lied about events that occurred during a visit (this can be verified by CCTV and staff). In many of the columns he has been primarily concerned with making disparaging, unkind and classist comments about the appearance of customers and staff.
We charitably hope that you intend these pieces to be satirical, however if that is the case it is not clear, and does not temper the negative effect this ‘journalism’ will have on businesses. If it is the case that your reporter simply wants to write of ‘hilarious’ but fictional encounters that he has had in bars then that is fine, but it should be presented as fiction rather than journalism (we refer you to the IPSO Editors code of practice regarding accuracy).
This is not simply some light‐hearted fun, the staff who your columnist flippantly and arbitrarily either praises or insults have jobs that are directly affected by this. They work extremely hard to contribute to the vibrant culture of our city and it is hugely insulting and disheartening for them to have their efforts reduced to snippy one liners by a writer who has no interest in providing genuine feedback.
We request that you:
1. Issue an apology for the inaccuracies and embellishments of reviews already published
2. Discontinue the “Pub Spy” column in its current form, and, should you print any future pieces of a similar style, clearly state that they are not to be considered factual reporting but satire or fiction.
If these requests are not met, we will instigate a boycott on
buying, reading or advertising in The Argus, and will encourage our
customers to do so as well.
This is an open letter which we will be sharing with our customers in our establishments and also via social media.
We look forward to you resolving this swiftly so that the pubs and bars of Brighton can resume a harmonious and mutually
beneficial relationship with The Argus.
If you wish to respond you can reach us at email@example.com
Posted: 25 April 2017 (Updated: 27 April 2017)