Max Publishing takes swift action on human rights grounds.
The Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards 2019 (B&LLAs) will now take place at London’s Hilton Park Lane, not The Dorchester Hotel as initially planned and previously announced.
The event will go ahead on its original date of Thursday 25 April.
The decision was taken by the B&LLAs’ organisers Max Publishing (which also owns the Licensing Source Book Europe) in protest at the cruel anti-human rights laws that came into force three days ago (April 3) in Brunei.
The Dorchester is among the nine luxury hotels that are owned by the Sultan of Brunei through the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Brunei Investment Agency.
“We felt compelled to join the international outcry against the barbaric laws now in place in Brunei, which includes the death penalty by stoning or whipping, for those in a same-sex relationship or committing adultery and the amputation of hands or feet for acts of theft. So wrong on every level,” stated Jakki Brown, joint owner of Max Publishing.
All sponsors of the B&LLAs – including headline sponsor Brand Licensing Europe – have been advised of the change and have been wholly supportive of the move.
As Ian Hyder, joint owner of Max Publishing, commented: “The news that we have been able to find an alternative venue for the B&LLAs has been very warmly received. The licensing industry and those within our community have a great deal of integrity. There is no way that awards that celebrate the industry’s achievements could take place at a venue where the profits of which contribute to a regime that is at odds with basic human rights.”
Taking place on the same date as originally announced – Thursday 25 April – The B&LLAs 2019 awards event will be hosted in the ballroom of the Hilton Park Lane Hotel, a few hundred metres from The Dorchester.
Awareness of the laws in Brunei and a campaign for a boycott of the hotels owned by the Sultan has been led by celebrities George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres accumulating widespread support, including many in the licensing community.
This is the second Max Publishing awards event that has been moved from The Dorchester. Yesterday (April 4) the company announced that The Retas, its awards event for greeting card retailers which will take place on July 10, has now moved to the Grosvenor House Hotel.
“We are not able to change the laws, but together we can make a stand against inhumanity,” added Ian.