WinterFest Brooklyn Organisers And Investors Slam Falsified Reports, and Respond to Ruthless Character Assassination Attempts – Say Litigation Started.
We do not comment on baseless reports and rumors but we would not let behind ruthless character assassination attempts by Brooklyn local papers who interfered with existing contractual agreements, and published false allegations as part of a coordinated campaign to help disgruntled local vendors extort illegal payments from the business owners. In what was qualified a the worst kind of journalism, Brooklyn tabloids engaged in an unprecedented witch-hunt and deliberate online character assassination of the investors behind the project resulting in death threats against the owners, loss of business for participating vendors, and a huge loss of opportunity for the City of Brooklyn and its residents. The local press went as far as distributing racist and sexist statements, disallowing positive comments on websites, syndicating negative articles between them and publishing no less than 22 fake news articles in less than 3 weeks.
In the face of such lynching, we would like to correct the records once for all:
Character Assassination Attempts
Repeated false reports by those reporters are not only a flagrant misrepresentation of the facts, but also should be viewed as a coordinated attempt with few disgruntled vendors to extort illegal payments from the WinterFest organisers through systematic character assassination attempts and distribution of lies.
Few vendors launched a campaign of defamation against us across multiple media channels. In early December 2018, they hired a public relations company for this purpose and started to spread fake news about WinterFest event by using fake social media profiles and 100s anonymous email accounts.
We view these character attacks as the deliberate destruction of our reputation and value of our company. Perpetrators of these shocking techniques, including negative campaigning, spreading rumors and anonymous online defamation should be held liable for our financial loss, and indeed the loss of economic value for the City of Brooklyn and the Public.
With Regards to Financial Consequences
Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum was supposed to be a jolly holiday extravaganza for families. It was set to generate more than $15 million in economic benefits to the City of Brooklyn. Instead it ended up being a huge disappointment and financial loss to the city, families and the investors.
The negative media drumbeat spooked the public and directly impacted the visitation number from the projected 300,000 to 67,000. This translated into significant financial loss to vendors and costing an economic opportunity of $45 million to the City of Brooklyn over three years.
Winterfest had announced that it would not be back in Brooklyn after suffering $550,000 loss to private investors.
It should be made clear we planned and organized Winterfest exactly as approved by the City of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Museum. Final layout was exactly as advertised, and described in tickets and on the website. There was never any scam or fraud as alleged by fake news.
With Regards to District Attorney Review
The District Attorney reviewed the alleged complaints by disgruntled vendors and concluded that there was no scam or fraud. Contrary to what was reported in the press, the District Attorney did not investigate the event and its organizers.
We also deny a fake allegation that the owners anonymously harassed vendors, which has been maliciously planted by Scott Enman (alias DJ Scott Matthews). The Company served the vendors and the public to the best of its abilities with personnel on-site and off-site in very difficult conditions.
With Regards to Refund Requests and Customer Satisfaction
Claims for refunds amounted to no more 0.02% of total visitors and were all dealt with according to our refund policy. Many claims were unscrupulous as several visitors used the service, got wine tasting for instance and went back and claimed a refund. The fact is that we had overwhelming positive feedback from our guests and children who enjoyed the tree maze, the chocolate and free Santa. Unfortunately, Mr Scott Enman carried unbalanced reports and used only the side of the story of those who sought to blackmail and extort illegal payments from the organizers.
With Regards to Vendor Relationship
As per contract, we carried out all our duties and responsibilities with our vendors during the event.
In some circumstances, our company had the full right to terminate a vendor who breached its license contract, engaged in disruptive behavior or disparaging the event or fail to pay. Only few disgruntled vendors went on to spread fake news about Winterfest as they attempted to extort illegal payments from us.
With Regards to the Brooklyn Museum:
We regret that the Brooklyn Museum “throw the event under the bus” and systematically lied about their role in the event in order to distance themselves from early customer complaints.
Contrary to what has been publicly stated, the Brooklyn Museum approved and vetted every aspect of the event. However, in a violation to our agreement with the Brooklyn Museum it withdrew our rights to use its name at the start of the event and repeatedly engaged in disparaging the event. These actions directly impacted visitor number to the event and hurt those same vendors that the museum has claimed wanted to help by putting the blame on us.