LONDON — A group of PR agencies have launched an initiative to support the beleaguered hospitality industry while the UK is again in lockdown, by donating the budget for their Christmas party.

The first agencies to pledge the cost of their annual festive celebration and host an "Invisible Xmas Party” on Friday 18 December – traditionally the last big office party night before Christmas – are Ready10, Brands2Life, Coolr, Frank, Grayling and Tin Man.

Hospitality Action, which ran the Invisible chips campaign at the start of the pandemic, was established in 1837 to support those working in the industry. So far in 2020 it has distributed more than £1 million in grants.

David Fraser, founder of Ready10, the agency behind the initiative, said: “This is going to be a Christmas party like no other, comprising 0% booze, 0% embarrassing dancing but 100% charity.

“We’d love as many agencies and PR teams as possible to join us and thank those who have already come on board – we appreciate that many in the industry are experiencing hard times themselves and we want this to be as inclusive as possible, so all donation levels are confidential.”

Participating agencies will be marking the day on December 18 by hosting a virtual celebration for staff and handing over their social channels to messages that support the work of Hospitality Action.

Fraser added: “We are an industry that spends millions on entertaining clients, media and staff but that has all dried up in 2020 and the effect on the hospitality industry and those who work in it is enormous. With the prospect of any real-life festive celebrations looking bleak we wanted to do something to help.”

At Coolr, CEO Adam Clyne said: “The hospitality sector has always played a major part of agency life so the Coolr team wanted to give something back during this difficult time.  An invisible Xmas party may not be as fun as a normal agency bash – but at least the hangover will be better!”

And Mandy Sharp, founder and CEO of Tin Man, said: “‘One of our clients is Hilton Hotels & Resorts and we’ve seen first-hand just how difficult it has been for them and their staff during the last eight months. Given most of our Christmas celebrations are likely to be virtual this year, donating our unused Christmas party budget to Hospitality in Action is a great way to continue to support those in the hospitality industry who are really struggling this year.”

To host an invisible Christmas party, and for more information on how to get involved, visit the campaign website here.