(Bloomberg) — Strip clubs, lap dances in limousines, and waitresses in bikinis. For decades, there’s been a very seamy side to the nightlife at London’s annual get-together for the metal-trading world.
The sexist entertainment at LME Week parties has been chronicled by British tabloids for years, but it’s starting to change — slowly. At this year’s LME Week, some companies kept the risque corporate events. Others have given it up.
Gerald Metals, which bills itself as the oldest pure physical metals merchant, threw its party for clients and customers at the Playboy Club, as it has done for many years. The London casino is known for women wearing low-cut, black satin leotards and fluffy tails serving drinks and dancing with guests.
The Playboy bash is so commonly known in the industry that it’s included on Metal Bulletin’s roster of “What’s On and Where?” Gerald Metals did not return requests by Bloomberg for comment.
Other companies, such as Wogen Resources Ltd., a small trading shop specializing in niche materials like antimony and cadmium, have toned down the entertainment. In previous years, women in skimpy outfits served drinks at the company’s mid-afternoon Heartstarter, meant to revive traders coming off a long night on the town.
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