Dear Editor, I was shocked to read your ill-informed column “Hollow victory reveals much,” in the (Alun Thorne Post, March 4).
First, allow me to correct the factual errors: MIPIM is the world’s most successful property show and has been going for 21 years and not five as you state. The show did not grow out of the property boom, but began in 1990 during a property recession and Borat’s mankini was green and not yellow!
This case was about a company setting up what constituted as a ‘stand,’ outside the Palais des Festivals official venue, to conduct business throughout MIPIM.
Yes, Drivers Jonas registered part of the team it sent to Cannes, but even if it had not registered any staff, operating as it did or ‘rebranding’ the whole of Cannes, would contravene French competition laws under French Civil Code, article 1382.
Other companies are not considering their strategies for this year’s MIPIM as other companies abide by the rules of the event. No other company has behaved in the manner of Drivers Jonas and set up a stand in a café to conduct business, as an alternative to exhibiting in the main venue.
Would the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham want electronics companies to set up stands in cafés to transact business outside its doors during National Electronics Week? I don’t think so. You claim that MIPIM has an ‘image problem,’ but then report that Birmingham City Council is sending one of its strongest delegations this year and that it was at MIPIM that Deutsche Bank was persuaded to have a look at Birmingham. Apparently our image and the usefulness of MIPIM is not an issue for Birmingham City Council, nor for the 18,000 registered MIPIM delegates, nor for the other 400 cities and regional authorities from over 70 countries who attend the event.
Finally, your reference to ‘MIPIM Gestapo’ is not only odious but hugely insulting.
PETER A RHODES OBE
Managing Director, Reed Midem UK