After several days of being heavily criticized for holding a lavish incentive travel program just days after receiving an $85 billion loan from the federal government, AIG today canceled an upcoming incentive program at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in California and announced that it is reviewing all of its meetings.
According to spokesman Nicholas Ashooh, AIG will determine which of its upcoming meetings are needed, cancel those that are unnecessary, and look for ways to minimize costs for the others.
AIG has taken a public-relations beating this week for an event held last month at the St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach. An AIG life insurance subsidiary sponsored the event, which was attended by 100 people, most of whom, according to AIG, were top-producing independent life insurance agents who had qualified for the trip. Sources ranging from Barack Obama’s campaign to the White House have blasted AIG, with White House Press Secretary Dana Perino Wednesday calling AIG “despicable” for proceeding with the event.
While lamenting that the St. Regis event had been misrepresented as an “executive retreat” and stating that he believes much of the criticism leveled at AIG is “completely unfair,” Ashooh said today that AIG also understands that “we are in a different environment and that even events we consider to be standard operating procedure have to scrutinized.”
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