Blood-red drinks, bartenders in white coats and surgical masks, and hostesses made up to look like Ebola victims – that's the latest gimmick dreamed up by the marketing team at an Aarhus nightclub, and the good news is that it's all for a good cause and they're getting plenty of publicity.
Hornsleth Bar, which also has a location in Copenhagen, has come under fire after revealing its plans to hold an 'Ebola Horror Party' on Friday March 13 in order to raise funds to support Red Cross's fundraising campaign against Ebola in Africa.
”I think that it's bad taste that they pretend they are ill – even though it aims to help. Ebola isn't a game, it’s deadly serious.” Stig Fog, a PR fundraising and communications expert, told Metroxpress newspaper.
”I have no doubt that once in a while you need an edge to get through to people, but in this case they are converting developing county problems into entertainment.”
Ulrik Tscherning, the manager of Hornsleth Bar, understands that the ploy is taking fundraising to the limit, but said the nightclub wants to raise awareness of a "long-term and considerable catastrophe that isn’t getting the attention it deserves".
”We are well aware we might be taking it to the limit and that it can be misunderstood, but we hope we are doing something good and making a difference by collecting some money,” he said.
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Red Cross grateful
According to Hornsleth Bar, the donations will be obtained via voluntary entry prices at the door and an auction where a number of gift cards and a painting by the controversial artist and co-owner of the nightclub, Kristian Von Hornsleth, will be sold.
The Red Cross has underlined that while it has sent the nightclub donation jugs and a photo they can use, the aid organisation has nothing to do with the concept and communication of the party.
”That's not the way the Red Cross fundraises and we won't be doing so either,” Malene Berland Grauslund, a project manager in the Red Cross fundraiser department, said.
”But conversely, we are only grateful when people raise money on behalf of the issues we work with.”