At last night's Games Media Awards, many friends and partners of Intent Media were, quite understandably, upset and offended by the behaviour of the event's headline sponsor, Grainger Games.
I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise wholeheartedly for this – and to make it very clear that Grainger will not be welcome back in any capacity to the GMAs, or any Intent Media events.
I'd also like to give you a little background, without in any way ducking the fundamental point that, as event organiser, we take ultimate responsibility.
Grainger approached us a few months ago and explained that their intention, through association with the GMAs, was to get closer to the games media. What they have done, in spectacular fashion, is alienate the entire games media in one night. Good work, guys.
I'd especially like to apologise to the nominees and winners whose big night may have been soured; to our host, Greg Davies, who battled through manfully (and spoke for all of us, I think, when he told Grainger Games exactly what he thought of them); and to our sponsors, old and new, who year after year provide the funds and support to make the GMAs such a great event but who, last night, justifiably, were angry and horrified to find their names associated with such shoddy behaviour.
We have, as you might have guessed, received a number of complaints last night and this morning.
We have listened to every single one of them and accept all points made. And we're happy (well, maybe not 'happy', but certainly 'willing' and 'expecting') to hear more.
In fact, whilst I hate to sound like one of those pompous voiceovers that comes after a particularly harrowing episode of Eastenders, if you were affected by any of the incidents that took place, do feel free to get in touch with me directly, vent your spleen and get a heartfelt personal apology. My email is Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk.
What annoys me most, perhaps, is that the GMA team here at Intent Media, headed by Lisa Carter and Kathryn Humphrey, and our great friends at Indigo Pearl, lead brilliantly by Caroline Miller, put months of work and a whole lot of love into staging the Games Media Awards.
People really care who wins and are genuinely pleased for colleagues and even rivals when they get approbation from their peers. The GMAs are special. They celebrate talent from The Guardian and BBC to specialist media, blogs and cub writers.
Grainger Games' behaviour and attitude was the antithesis of what the GMAs are about. Next year we will give the event back to the media and work only with partners we know understand what the event is about.
I quite often feel terrible after the Games Media Awards. I'm sure a lot of you do as well. But this morning I just feel a bit embarrassed and extremely apologetic. I really do hope to see everyone who came last night back again next year. Well, nearly everyone.