JUDGE AND JURY: Commission misses market forces in drinks for the ladies - The Equal Opportunities Commission will have won few friends with its dictate to nightclub owners to scrap ladies’ nights as this is an issue which should be left to public

’Guys like to go to night clubs where there are a lot of unattached girls, girls like to go to night clubs where they can get in free - seems like a pretty equal opportunity to me!’ One male view on the recent Equal Opportunities Commission crack down on ’ladies’ nights’.

’Guys like to go to night clubs where there are a lot of unattached

girls, girls like to go to night clubs where they can get in free -

seems like a pretty equal opportunity to me!’ One male view on the

recent Equal Opportunities Commission crack down on ’ladies’

nights’.



Following complaints fromover 100 disgruntled males, the commission has

written to clubs warning them that it is illegal to give anyone

preferential treatment on the basis of sex. This means an end to free or

cut-price entrance and drinks for ladies.



’Capturing hearts’ in terms of public opinion has never been achieved

with the sledgehammer approach, the mighty arm of the law or the issuing

of ultimatums. While it might be a fundamental principle of the

commission that men and women should receive equal treatment, is life

ever quite so black and white?



What woman doesn’t enjoy having a door opened for her, a seat given up

or a drink bought? Just because we are capable of doing these things

ourselves, do we need such issues handled in quite such a hard hitting

manner to ensure fair play?



Compare the heavy letter approach adopted by the commission to that of

the Mirror which campaigned to ’save the girls Big Night Out’ - no

prizes awarded for guessing who captured hearts here.



Targeting consumers is a basic marketing discipline. If the mid-week

night club market is predominantly male it makes sense to offer some

added value to attract the missing 18- 35-year old female element.

Money-off shampoo and conditioners in major multiple retailers,

depicting heads of long swaying tresses does not seem to be deemed

discriminatory. Nor it seems does targeting greying males 35 to 55 with

male specific hair colouring agents. Is female half price admission to

clubs really so very different?



While clubs with named DJs and expensive promotions attract a paying

gate others prefer to - as Peter Stringfellow says - ’keep laying down

my cloak for the girls to walk over’. Who’s right? Is it a matter of

fact?



Or is this an issue which would have been handled better with with the

velvet glove of swayed opinion rather than the heavy hand of the law?



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