Ascot defends labelling system despite refunds

24th January 2012 - Fine Cut

Ascot Racecourse has defended its decision to use orange labels to uphold a dress code over the weekend.

Nick Smith, a spokesperson for the venue, apologised if the system - which saw inappropriately dressed visitors given the aforementioned labels - caused offence, but stressed that it was meant to be beneficial to people, according to The Telegraph.

"The stickers were given out to those racegoers who had been spoken to [by gatemen] about the new dress code for Ascot meetings. We didn't want them [customers] bothered again, so it was a way of identifying them. Strangely enough it was meant as a customer service," Mr Smith said.

With the aid of labels, officials at the racecourse apparently hoped they would not have to pester people regarding the new etiquette, which demands that men wear a jacket and tie among other things if they want to enter the 'premier enclosure'.

Charles Barnett, chief executive of Ascot, echoed this sentiment in a statement reported by Sky News, pointing out that it was a "well-intentioned" policy that was ultimately misguided.

The event facility is hoping to mend its reputation by giving full refunds to its premier enclosure customers and Mr Barnett highlighted how creating a welcoming environment was a major part of this. It is thought that the new dress code may have been introduced in response to suggestions in the media that standards of attire had dropped at Ascot.

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