German insurer apologises for sex trip

29th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

One of Germany's top insurance companies took out full-page advertisements in national newspapers Wednesday to apologise for laying on prostitutes for its top salesmen.

"When people make mistakes they say sorry. When firms make mistakes they do something about it. That's why we are doing both," the advert from Ergo, part of the Munich Re group, said.

"We are working intensively on clearing up these allegations. We are taking far-reaching measures to make sure that mistakes like this don't happen again," it added.

In May it emerged that Hamburg-Mannheimer (HMI), a unit of Ergo since 2010, had in 2007 turned Budapest's popular Gellert Baths into a brothel for the night with some 20 prostitutes available for the firm's 100 top salesman.

The Handelsblatt daily quoted one unnamed participant as saying that the guests were able to take the women, wearing colour-coded wristbans, to four-poster beds at the spa "and do whatever they liked."

The firm said that the "incentive trip" cost around 83,000 euros ($120,000) but assured its customers that the junket was a one-off and that the managers responsible no longer worked for the company.

Other revelations about the firm included that HMI had overcharged around 14,000 customers in 2005. It said that an external auditing firm has since been been hired.

© 2011 AFP

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