Discrimination vs. Target Marketing

Posted on December 19, 2015

The Facts:

  • Last week Friday, Shannon Gomes was denied entry into Aria Lounge, a popular local nightclub.
  • Shannon Gomes claimed that she cannot be denied based on “bigotry, prejudice or intolerance.
  • Many people agreed and last night a protest was staged outside Aria. One protester stated that the “larger issue is the policing of women’s bodies” (see video to the bottom of this article)

I’ve recognised that many people who are speaking out against Aria may not be familiar or understand the perspective of an event planner. I believe the first step to effecting change is understanding the perspectives of others. So here is another perspective:

What do people want?

After reading the heated essays about activism and listening to people speaking out and calling Aria “outta timin”, the question remains… do you or do party people want to go party with any and everyone?

In your leisure time do you prefer to lime or engage with a particular crowd or do you walk in anywhere on Ariapita Avenue and have a grand time? 

I believe event planners don’t create the rules, they just abide by them. If ladies free = a full night club and no ladies free = an empty nightclub, then the decision to have ladies free or not is really out of the hands of nightclub owners.
Let us look beyond the objectification of the female body and alleged misogyny and take a look at how males and females lime. Usually females are the harder sex to convince to attend an event as they require advance planning, a new outfit, time to put on make up and company.
The ‘use of females to attract men in nightclubs’ is not because nightclub owners banded together and said lets discriminate. At nightclub committee meetings, the owner would often ask, so what do the people want?
The female committee members would say “we don’t want to pay.” So who is really to blame? The people or the Nightclubs?
Fabrice D. Francois, a popular radio personality and professional decorator pointed out on Facebook: “we all are in favor of discrimination until it affects us..but u cant cry discrimination when u willingly subject your self to it by joining a line, buying a ticket when it clearly states ‘Management reserves the right to refuse admission'”

Commodity vs Differentiated

Picture this scenario. I open a nightclub. Should I reserve the right to have a target audience? Am I wrong if I deliberately attempt to attract a certain segment of society? Either the haves or the have nots?
I went to Hillview College so say I decide I want to target only people from Presbyterian Schools. I then initiate a discount for anyone with a ring from the said school.
Should people from other schools cry discrimination because they don’t get a discount? What if someone went to one of these schools and they forgot their ring home, am I wrong to tell them to pay?

We like the privilege of choice 

We want the ability to choose to wine to the ground in a shorts and jersey or look stush in a dress. The reality of the matter is, all clubs are not created equal and this what makes our nightlife, our Carnival and our culture colourful. To fit in anyone simply has to look the part. If you do not look the part you WILL stick out like sore thumb and open yourself up to mishaps.

If you don’t like it. Stay TF home

If the customer service outside Aria was unpleasant, then you and all your friends should stay home; forever from this establishment. If this is done, you won’t give the spot free publicity, to the contrary you have a shot at strong arming them into changing their policies. As an event planner my goal is to get my target audience to attend my event. So I do not think staff or management should be rude or bigotry, but if some are deterred by the dress code — this may in fact be the purpose of implementing the dress code.
Staying home is a WIN for everyone. The nightclub would be happy and you would be happy. Everyone wins!

The people make the rules. Not the nightclubs or event planners.

These simply abide by the rules of society and social engagement. Nightclub owners don’t force anyone to attend, which is proof that they are slaves to the people. The Nightclubs work for the public, not the other way around!

Let us consider this as we tirade around the social media stratosphere posting essays and condemning businesses.


Womantra Protest against Aria IncidentThe Caribbean feminist group “Womantra” joined in a solidarity action in support of Shannon Gomes, a young woman who attempted to gain admission to this venue and was instructed that she had to pay the entrance fee that is reserved for men because she “presented herself like a man.”

Posted by CarnivalCentral.com on Friday, December 18, 2015


Maybe we should treat our nightlife and our Carnival as a renewable resource that is never going to run out like oil and gas.

1 Reply to "Discrimination vs. Target Marketing"

  • Gwynyth
    December 20, 2015 (4:33 am)

    Love this blog cant wait to see the views and opinions.

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