Pink Paper goes BUST!.. again

June 20, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Flagship Gay Mafia Gutter Rag Sinks

GayMafiaWatch can exclusively reveal, after a troubled 20 year history the UK’s only national “gay newspaper” (The Pink Paper) has gone bust.

The last ever issue will be out in time for London Pride.

This is not the first time the publication has folded. It has struggled to stay afloat over the past ten years having eventually reverted to a fortnightly tabloid broadsheet. Despite claims by the paper’s owners Millivres Prowler Group that the company is suffering from a loss in advertising revenues like much of the media sector, GayMafiaWatch believes that is only part of the story. Last year the company dropped top shelf-gay mens mag AXM explaining it would continue to be available online. Only a few months later the company (which also owns Prowler storesused the Pink Paper to attack rival sex-shop firm Clone Zone (which owed them £100’s thousands in unpaid bills).

Last Thursday (18th June 2009) we called the Advertising desk at the Pink Paper to find out the next copy deadline – to which we were told would be 4th July. The following day a source at the distribution company that delivers the publication all over the country told us they had not received any orders to distribute the title outside of London for the next issue – confirming the news.

Farewell Pink Paper. You have served us well over the years, even if in the end you will be remembered as just another slain soldier in the ongoing pink pound war.


Sex Wars: Attack of the Clone Zone

April 21, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the bunker we find ourselves on the bring of yet another Pink Pound war.

Following on from our recent article “Gay Dating Wars” we have stumbled upon an emerging row between two of the UK’s largest gay retailers.

The use of the word “Exclusive!” in the title of the story the Pink Paper (owned by the dark lord Prowler group) suggests they are relying on sources that may stem from gossip, rumour and pure speculation. The emphasis on this particular story is interesting as there is a clear motive behind it’s publication, and Clone Zone have quite fairly bashed back.

Decent Journalists and those who know some of the basics of media headline creation will see red when they read phrase “an anonymous member of the public” – tried and tested classic way of deceiving people into thinking the facts have been investigated and the anonymity is because what they are saying is true but want to protect their identity. Even so, it’s also a media excuse for making things up.

As it happens, the Pink Paper’s publishers Millivres Prowler Group are among the list of those owed significant amount of money which the Pink Paper estimate totals at least of £500,000 (according to an unnamed “insider”). Although most people in the same position as Millivres Prowler Group are right to be annoyed at not being paid but don’t be fooled into thinking this is news. The Pink Paper’s report on Clone Zone is nothing but a cleverly constructed case of commercial smear.

On the recently revamped Pink Paper website they recently introduced a commenting feature. Since it was launched it is rarely used, either few people are commenting on their articles or they are choosing to exercise some level of editorial control over public feedback so it is again surprising to see a flood of vicious comments making a range of plain nasty statements about the individuals involved.

The most obvious example of “self-trolling” in order to support the article is this one:

“use your pink pound elsewhere now – shop at prowler and any other decent trading company”

The weekly readers poll in the same issue, also run via the Pink Paper’s website apparently posted by “anonymous”  the day before the paper’s regular weekly publication date asks:

“Should directors whose firms go bust be allowed to run a business again?” – “If your bosses made your company go bust and made you redundant in the process, should they be allowed to side-step into another directorial role?”

You’d expect a “registered newspaper” to have more than 16 people voting in a poll nearly a week after it was created. This could be due to the fact that the relatively poor volume of traffic the site receives compared to it’s biggest rivals which are relatively small operations, many of them non-profit or social-enterprises run by one or two people from home.


In an unepected twist, those who have a clear interest in this particular fight have stepped into the ring and stood up for Clone Zone and have pledged to publish an official statement from the former directors. Manchester based charity the Lesbian and Gay Foundation who also publish a monthly regional gay health and lifestyle magazine “OutNorthWest” have today placed an article on their website under the headline “Clone Zone Bosses Upset at Pink Paper Headline“.

It should be noted that the LGF provide content to the Pink Paper but also rely on significant advertising revenue from Clone Zone. The LGF seem to be attempting to juggle a conflict of neutrality and may be attempting to balance the fuss or perhaps they are making a moral objection to Millivres Prowler’s bully-boy reporting around the situation of a business that has it’s roots in the same community they do.

Previous issues of OutNorthWest have seen several advert placements plugging the adult retailer over the years, the magazine’s editor claims they rely entirely on advertising revenue in order to produce the publication which has a readership of over 60,000. This month (February 2009) contains no advertising for Clone Zone. Although one advert for their more profitable arm “H20 Sauna” remains.

Gossip is an essential part of any community, it allows us to communicate and allows us to inquire about the status of our peers with our peers. The LGF may be quite right in giving so much space on it’s website to a story which airs the dirty laundry of two major players in the country’s gay business community despite this having implications on their own future.

Perhaps the LGF may now consider extending that same opportunity to the wider community, instead of giving so much airspace to rich sponsors even if they vanish tomorrow.

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.
– Mohandas Gandhi

GayMafiaWatch asks…

To the Editor of the Pink Paper:
Are you so naive to think the public won’t see right through this story you’ve obviously generated to serve the direct financial interests of your parent company? What do you say to Clone Zone’s response that your article about that is unfair and upsetting?

To the Directors of Clone Zone:
What do you think about your alleged creditors using one of their national gay publications as a way of attacking you? and will you continue to stock the (free) weekly Pink Paper as a result? do you feel the change in the formulation of poppers and their resulting unpopularity due to new legislation have contributed to Clone Zone’s problems?

To the Lesbian and Gay Foundation:
Will the new owners of Clone Zone honor existing advertising deals made with yourselves? they appear to have removed all their adverts in your latest issue of OutNorthWest so what impact will this have on the magazine’s future? oh and one last question, who’s your daddy?

You! – tell us what you think, post your comments below:


Taking Libertas

February 11, 2009

York based Lesbian bookshop “Libertas” was once known as a beacon of light in a sea of isolation.

Sadly the day of the specialist bookstore has come and gone. Even the the big high-street chains have had several years of trouble seeing a string of mass mergers between the mainstream book and multimedia retailers, companies that have established links and distribution contracts with one of the main gay mafia “families” also in the same business.

Dillons was bought by HMV, Ottakers was taken over by Waterstones which became a subsidiary of HMV. The group proceeded to take over a number of stores from struggling rivals including Fopp and 8 Books etc stores from rival Borders UK. The market now consists of three key players – Virgin, WHSmith and HMV (HMV have been poised to take WHSmith over).

Despite being a relatively small, local operation based in a small shop in York,  it’s owners quick thinking and success in mastering the mail-order market had paid off. Only 4 years after it was founded the company became “Europe’s Number 1 Lesbian Bookstore”. Sadly the actual bookshop itself which also sold gifts, greetings cards and specialist Lesbian products and local merchandise operated at a loss but stayed open despite facing an uphill battle.

The founders of Libertas are now retired and approaching their 70’s. It’s obvious they cared a great deal about their romantic little lesbian bookshop and must have been heartbroken to be forced to close shop for the last time in 2004. The actual bookshop itself wasn’t just a shop, it was a meeting place for Lesbians and other Women from all over the country. Something that to this day is missing although that does continue to some extent through the York Lesbian Arts Festival that was founded by a group of Women who used to meet at the shop. Various other Women’s groups, reading clubs and small businesses also used the premises including the once independent “DykeLife” newsletter, a free community alternative to the mainstream women’s mags such as DIVA.

The famous Lesbian colonies that still exist throughout the small villages of Yorkshire such as Hebden Bridge weren’t the only people who saw Libertas as refreshing. As the country’s only Lesbian bookshop it also offered gay, bisexual and trans women a national alternative to the male dominated gay lifestyle stores like Clone Zone and Prowler.

When it was announced the shop may be forced to close various reports and letters appeared in the gay press from it’s supporters expressing their shock and dismay. This is a slightly different story than the one portrayed by the Millivres Prowler Group – owners of rival online book store “DIVA Direct”, DIVA magazine (as well as many other titles including GayTimes, AXM, the Pink Paper as well as owning their own chain of gay lifestyle shops and publishing houses) which claimed they were stepping in as the bookshop’s saviors and would keep it alive through the established Libertas online store.

As a result, Millivres Prowler completely took the operation over and moved operations to it’s London office. Two years later the group relaunched DykeLife as a glossy magazine and filled it with targeted advertising and placements for it’s own products, capitalising on the acquisition of the 7,000 strong subscriber base built on the bones of the grassroots alternative it once was.

Despite the claims by the Millivres Prowler Group that the spirit of the bookshop would continue through the continued existence of the Libertas online store at http://www.libertas.co.uk which now redirects to “DIVA Direct”. It’s final remnants exist as the “Libertas forum” – a message board for reviewing titles available through DIVA Direct.

Today it appears Libertas is well and truly dead, although spinning in her grave – May she rest in peace.

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
~Groucho Marx

“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world an loses his own soul?”
~Robert Fulghum


Blood Money

December 1, 2008

lgf_freddieYou might be forgiven for thinking this advert was about raising funds for those affected by HIV/AIDS – Wrong!

It’s World AIDS Day, and to celebrate the Lesbian and Gay Foundation have decided to throw in some free advertising for gay escort websites that promote bareback porn worshiping unsafe sex acts. – You just couldn’t make it up if you tried!

So just what exactly is one of Britain’s biggest, most well funded biggest gay health charities playing at this time?


Are they raising funds for HIV/AIDS?

No, infact the advert doesn’t even mention the issue despite the connotations and the black and red silhouette photo of Queen front-man Freddie Mercury. The Mercury Phoenix Trust might have something to say on the matter considering they also use this iconic image but unlike the LGF they have the rights to use Mercury’s name and image for the purposes of raising funds for HIV/AIDS related causes as it was established by Mercury’s fellow band members after his death.


So why have they specifically chosen this iconic image to raise funds?


The hidden implication of this fundraising campaign by the cash-strapped Lesbian and Gay Foundation suggests that if you are facing an early death from AIDS (as Freddie Mercury sadly did) and you’ve got a bit of spare cash set aside that could infact still be sitting in the bank once you’re dead and buried then you might be wise to give it to them in the hope it’s a worthy cause.

What’s so wrong with that you? -might be right to ask.

Well nothing, but there are plenty of other more worthy causes out there you might wish to consider Read here about how they fleeced the public by redirecting money raised from Manchester Pride.

Eric is a volunteer at Body Positive, another charity in Manchester that supports people living with HIV. After seeing the above advert in this month’s OutNorthWest magazine produced by the LGF he contacted GayMafiaWatch to inform us he was making a complaint.


“I’m disgusted the LGF have gone straight for the blood on this one, they are already ramming home the message for people to give them money as it is whilst they are still alive – now they want it even when we’re dead!” “they are taking advantage of the fact many of their readers may be facing an early death from HIV and want to cash in on their life savings,  it’s grotesque. This is a new low for them, many of us didn’t think they could actually get
any lower. I will be complaining to the highest authority”

– Eric, Volunteer Body Positive North West for nearly 10 years.


But don’t they pay for all the free condoms and lube in Manchester’s Gay Village?

No. Manchester’s LGBT Community has infact been held to ransom and now pays for the “free” condom and lube distribution scheme itself through wristband sales at Manchester Pride. Around 25% of ticket sales go towards funding the LGF’s involvement in this initiative.

But they produce lots of information on sexual health for gay men, don’t they?

Sort of. The sexual health literature they produce is actually funded publicly through the NHS via Manchester Primary Care Trust’s Public Health Development Service. This cosy relationship isn’t just professional either. Curiously it’s Senior Public Health Development Advisor is married to (well Civil Partnered anyway!) the Chief Executive of the NHS. They have a lovely four bed semi in the leafy outer-outer London district of Chorlton, South Manchester

So what are they raising money for?

It’s hard to say as their annual accounts are vague to say the least. What they do reveal however between the glossy pie charts and colourful lack of detail is the startling fact that the Lesbian and Gay Foundation spends more on raising funds than it actually generates.


Shockingly last year the charity’s accounts showed this had lumped them with a major deficit. No wonder they are pushing so hard from every possible angle using as much emotive language to get people to donate. If these figures add up as they appear to it looks as if the LGF actually lost around £22,000 in 2007.

    £55,000 (income received from fundraising activities)
    £77,000 (income spent on fundraising activities

    (Source: LGF Annual Review 2007)

Over the past year it’s no wonder various rumors have begun circulating suggesting the LGF are now facing a serious financial deficit. Pleading with the public in the covering page of it’s 2007 annual review the LGF’s Chief Executive Paul Martin stated:

“it is becoming increasingly more difficult to gain funding for the work that we are doing” – “The LGF has never made a direct request for financial support before.”

This is a complete Lie.

lgf_montage1
Since it’s conception the LGF has collected public donations in and around Manchester’s Gay Village and through various events including World AIDS Day and Manchester Pride. Before it came into existence after a merger between Healthy Gay Manchester (a council and NHS run initiative) with Manchester Lesbian and Gay Switchboard both organisations had dozens of collection tins in bars all over the village, after the merger they replaced them with LGF branded collection tins. Funds raised by one of Manchester Pride’s previous incarnations have nearly always gone into the LGF’s fat purse.


In 2001 “Manchester GayFest” granted the LGF a sum of over £30,000 which it decided to spend on upgrading it’s former premises on Charles Street with a wheelchair ramp. Several months later the LGF moved up the road to Princess House deeming the entire idea a complete waste of money.


“You do have the potential to end homophobia by please financially supporting the LGF.” – Paul Martin confidently declares.


Really Paul? – Maybe money really can solve everything! However, in response to the controversy over the LGF’s involvement in Manchester Pride local Councillor Iain Lindley rubbished Martin’s suggestion in his blog by stating:

“I wasn’t aware that you have to pay a £20 entry fee in order to be against homophobia, bigotry and hatred… – what nonsense.”Cllr Iain Lindley, Salford Walkden South

In the proceeding comments one member of the community also made an even stronger accusation about the LGF’s alleged abuse of funding and further confirming the bullying tactics we reported on back in May:

“As someone who is active in the womens/lesbian community in Greater Manchester I am sick and tired of the Manchester-centric, village obsessed Lesbian and Gay Foundation claiming to represent me and somehow by producing a never ending supply of pointless and wasteful literature about “ending homophobia”, a cause they cannot be expected to defeat alone or within our lifetimes.

I am very frustrated about how they constantly manipulate members of the community unto thinking they are the champions for equality and safer lifestyles when a great deal many of other individuals and groups have the same intentions yet are blocked from having the opportunity to do so because of their domination and monopolisation of the funding and the opportunity to promote the good work of voluntary groups other than themselves. They are not accountable to anyone, they
purposely duck and dive and keep their meetings in secret, they carryout no consultation whatsoever with the wider community and arrogantly claim to represent the voices and needs of anyone who cares as much as they claim to.”
– Laura

The charity’s dubious relationship with commercial sponsors who profit from the “Pink Pound” in Manchester’s gay village recently prompted us to investigate how the manufacturers of the popular recreational drugs marketed as “Poppers” (or “Room Odorisers”!) were using the LGF’s “community health and lifestyle” magazine “OutNorthWest” to direct their advertising at gay men – “Poppers the Sweet Smell of Hypocrisy“.

The use of Poppers have been scientifically proven to lower the body’s immune system (not good for anyone with HIV!).

After which there came an angry response causing the LGF to remove most of the adverts for poppers in the next issue. We also received a number of comments including this one from a worried teacher:

“I am a teacher at a large comprehensive school in East Manchester I am also a member of the Lesbian community I was astonished to read your article regarding poppers adverts combined with subliminal messages promoting their use in the LGF’s magazine. The following day we had a visit from a group who were running a workshop on homophobic bullying and they left behind (along with some excellent resources on how to combat homophobia in their defence) several copies of the LGF magazine. Worried that I may become blamed for distributing this type of dangerous advertising to my pupils I quickly informed the Deputy Headteacher who advised me to promptly bin the publication.

Amanda  (Teacher)


In the latest issue of OutNorthWest (December 2008), right next to the aforementioned full page glossy appeal for money direct from the death beds of AIDS sufferers there appeared a peculiar article on “Sex Workers” which was also promoted on the contents page under the full on face shot of a rather photogenic young man under the title “Sex Bomb – HIV explodes amongst young gay men” with the slightly smaller title “A three page special on gay men and lesbians who sell sex.

Alongside the Sex Workers article they were kind enough to provide listings to other organisations who could offer support and advice (a rare thing for the LGF unless of course they are run by their friends or by themselves under different names!). However they also felt it appropriate to also list a well known gay escorts website manchesterlads.com apparently because it has pages with “advice for anyone selling sex“. This may be true but they also list other more suitable sources of information, so how is it the LGF is providing free advertising accompanying such an article in this context for manchesterlads, which is a purely commercial website which (although it claims not to be an escort agency) that makes money from escorts by charging them to host a listing.


In a further sickening twist, the site also carries numerous bold advertisements for explicit gay DVD’s that glorify unsafe-sex and “Bug-Chasing” or “Breeding” (the practice of purposely seeking to become infected with HIV) including “Council Trash”, “Bare Huge Dicks #9, “London Cum Pigs 2”, “Fuck Me Raw”, “Breeding Season” and “I’m Gonna Fuck You Hard and Bareback“amongst many others.


Interestingly some of the same escorts listed on manchesterlads also appear in a number of the videos advertised on the site.

Although they mostly go under pseudonymous on the escort listings page, many of these (mostly young) men are well known faces in Manchester’s gay village, and many of them also happen to be from low-income families, have left school with few if any qualifications and possibly also vulnerable.

We caught up with a “Liam” – a male sex worker from Wythenshawe, one the poorest council estates in Britain located in the south of Manchester. This is what he had to say about his own experiences:


“I had just dropped out of college and a bit stuck really, I would have stayed on the course but since I just about passed for 18 I had started going out nearly every night into the (gay) village and was taking a lot of “K” (Ketamine) and pills so my head was really too messed up to focus. After clubbing some nights we used to go to B******* Sauna mostly only because the night buses around here are rubbish so we’d hang out there, get wasted, sometimes have a shag with some random guy then get the first bus home and sleep off the come-down!

After people started to get know me around the village I got friendly with a group of young guys I’d met in the Sauna who suggested I try escorting to earn a bit of extra cash. They’d signed up to manchesterlads already and one night at the sauna we logged onto the website and they got me signed up to it as well. Being skint all the time I jumped at the chance. I was already really used to going with anyone in the dark room just ‘cos I was mashed and horny so getting paid to do it never seemed like a bad thing. I don’t use manchesterlads now as they charge quite a bit to keep your listing online (amounting to £240 a year) and now I’ve got a few regular clients I don’t need to pay manchesterlads to get me new business. I live right near the airport so it’s quite handy for most of the guys I meet and it suits me for now but I do regret dropping out of college and don’t think I will ever go back now. My life is too centered on scene”
Liam, 19, Escort


Ultimately the Lesbian and Gay Foundation may exist as a force for good, even though it appears the continuing influence of a small number of corrupt, self-important, greedy vampires has warped them from their original objectives.


Unfortunately they are making matters so much worse thanks to their tendency to blend dodgy advertising that contradicts their sexual health message in their flagship publication time after time, dubiously siphoning away funding from other smaller charities (as Laura has claimed) into their own ghost projects and then finishing it all off with a never ending slurry of  explosive “sex-sells” imagery that is a main cause of why many gay men of all ages continue to experience serious issue of low self-esteem, responsible for individuals engaging in wreckless, self-destructive behaviour, recreational drug use, abusing steroids to get a better body, engaging in risky sexual encounters (like bug-chasing), selling their body over the internet and possibly contracting HIV as a result.


You could say that the Lesbian and Gay Foundation are part of a vicious circle when it comes to sexual health prevention and promotion.


First they came for your blood, and now they’re after your money!


Manchester City Council in Gay Vote Scandal

November 27, 2008

Another week and yet another “gay awards scheme” appears to be attracting some dubious nominations.

Last month the Stonewall Awards in London sparked an angry protest from the transgender community and a major celebrity split after a bigoted journalist was nominated.  Heres more proof that the “old boys network” is alive and well in Manchester…

About a week ago Terry Waller, “Lead Officer for Gay Men’s Issues” at Manchester City Council sent out an email requesting people to vote for gay men’s social group run by the LGF “Icebreakers” for a Pink Paper Readers Award (they happened to be last year’s winners). The email went onto say – “Maybe you’ll also nominate our friends at The LGF, Taurus, 40 plus  and Northern Wave too.”

After your money AGAIN!.. - the Lesbian and Gay Foundation and it's "friends"

After your money AGAIN!.. - the Lesbian and Gay Foundation

Read our article “The Truth about where your wristband money really went” which explains how together they conspired to ripped off Manchester’s long suffering LGBT Community last year by making multiple funding bids for the same organisation under different names and therefore siphoning off the funding into one big fat pot.


Whilst we have no objection to the claim that that the groups and businesses being promoted are just as worthy candidates to win an award as any other and no doubt provide excellent services to the community but the question must be asked- why is Manchester City Council participating in the unfair influence of a democratic process by sending this request to its entire LGBT mailing list? Other groups hoping to be nominated may also be reminding their supporters to vote for them but this is a council mailing list which includes people who are neither Pink Paper Readers and who most likely have never heard of or used the services of this cliquey list of “friends” the email is suggesting people nominate and vote for.

This use of the mailing mailing list in this manner is clearly biased an inappropriate, its completely unfair to other worthy groups and businesses and it smacks of favoritism. Taurus, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (who run Icebreakers, the 40+ Group and Northern Wave Swimming Group) and Manchester City Council are all heavily in bed with the controversial Manchester Pride – also nominated for an award.

Terry Waller claims this request is purely “information we have been asked to distribute” however previous attempts by other organisations not connected to funded by Manchester City Council have failed to be distributed are frequently ignored. Although his mail shots are sometimes useful and informative they rarely contain anything other than more promotional extracts from the Lesbian and Gay Foundation or Manchester Pride –  which have plenty of more direct and dedicated means of contacting the community.

Shameless!

Manchester Pride Ticket £15
Squishing Criticism – Priceless!

Manchester City Council and “friends” at the Launch of Manchester Pride 2008. Together they have sent requests to a public city council mailing list to canvass support in order to swing the vote in favour of their organisations in this year’s Pink Paper Awards.

Despite causing so much anger and controversy within the community, GayMafiaWatch has heard Manchester Pride has been nominated for a Pink Paper Award too.

pride_people1
Jackie Crozier, Director of Manchester Pride. Famous for her
Gestapo-like appearance in
this revealing video when she
attempted to confiscate placards
in the Pride Parade
because they read “Pride Not Profit”.
Andrew (“Drew”) Stokes, Chair of Manchester Pride and
Director of “Marketing Manchester”.
Read about how
he misled the public over Pride’s attendance figures
promoting a probe by Trading Standards.
Pink Haired Mavis, Lord Mayor of Manchester. She didn’t really
have a clue what was going on. This
blogger has more photos
with the poor mayor looking even more shocked as organisers
try to cover up their actions.
Mike “Polly” Pollard, Proprietor of Canal Street bar Taurus and
representing the Village Business Association (VBA). Three
weeks after this photo was taken the VBA’s chair Phil Burke
resigned from the Board of Manchester Pride accusing the
council of putting “Pounds before Poofs”
Cllr Paul Fairweather, founding member and supporter of the
Lesbian and Gay Foundation the charity where
GayMafiaWatch has uncovered a lot of dirty dealings along with the
George House Trust – another dodgy
charity you can read about in
this blog
pridepic3

…the big cover-up

Moments after the above photo was taken…. Protesters descend on the Pride Officials and Lord Mayor

The protest group “Pride is a Protest” claims it has been shamefully airbrushed out of the official pride photos.



pridepic2

Pink Washed!

In this photo you can clearly see how a sign being held by a protester in the back of the photo outside Manchester Town hall taken shortly after saying “Queer Liberation Now” has been airbrushed in black out by Manchester Pride. A Pink “Pride Not Profit” Banner in the far right corner has also been obscured. Watch a video of the protest at the Manchester Pride Launch

If it’s not clear to you what Manchester Pride is all about, they have made it clear what its not about by doing this.

As Manchester Pride came to a close at end of August 2008, Phil Burke (who was missing from the above photos) Chair of the Village Business Association (VBA) resigned from the board of Manchester Pride in frustration and declared “Manchester Pride is a marketing event run by ‘dictators’ “. It made the front page of the Manchester Evening News later that day where he continued to speak out and claimed “Manchester Pride is Purely a Commercial Operation“.

Dozens of other small businesses, charities and community groups and local councilors of all parties have since spoken out in support of Mr Burke including Body Positive, Cruz 101, The Rembrandt, Eden, AXM Group, LGBT History Month. Queer Youth Network, OutRage! and the NUS LGBT Campaign.

In October 2008, UNISON (the largest of all the trade unions) voted at it’s recent LGBT conference to condemn the actions of Manchester Pride and has agreed not to provide it with sponsorship to the event next year.


Gay Dating Wars

July 8, 2008

Its clear the gay media are now part of some type of gay “mafia round table” primarily concerned with promoting the commercial interests of their friends and investors at the expense of the LGBT community.

Monopolisation of the “Gay Dating Sector” provides a constant flow on revenue for a growing number of the alleged “Gay Mafia” – and the majority of them have proven some type of connection to either gay sex chat-lines, gay dating websites and the gay press. There is no love lost between a number of the big gay websites that are not only competing for membership and subscriptions but also as a virtual advertising space that they use to promote the commercial interests of their friends.

Aggressive and stealth marketing techniques are being used by certain gay empire builders in a sleazy new media war against their competitors, using their ownership and influence over the gay press as a weapon to fight off any emerging threats. We have already reported on how the purchase of the “Puffta” gay teen website has been used by owners of gay tabloid “The Pink Paper” by “Millivres Prowler Group” to recruit new customers for it’s paid-for publications and it’s adult mail order trading arm, and how both Prowler and Gaydar had dubiously provided sponsorship under various brand names to a number of events and groups in exchange for influence, advertising space and as an attempt to make their customers believe they are supporting the interests of the community.

Last year our article exposing the truth about Puffta receive several careless, childish comments here on our wordpress blog attempting to defend their actions of the company – after which a simple check of the I.P address told us that it was posted from the offices of “QSoft Consulting” – the owners of Gaydar.

Millivres Prowler Group also carried out some rather in-depth research last year with “Out Now Consulting”, these comments appeared in an marketing news blog:

“This new UK gay market research report is a real groundbreaker,” said Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now. “Many organisations, companies and brands, want to better understand the complexities of the UK gay and lesbian consumer market. Now the market data behind the UK gay market is going to become accessible in a way never possible before.” “This study will reach gay consumers through print and online. It will reach lesbian and gay youth and it will reach gay men and lesbians through their most important gay and lesbian media products,”

“We are delighted to announce this new research,” said Kim Watson, Deputy Managing Director of MPG. “Many people espouse views on the lives of lesbians and gay men, often without knowing the facts. Now, as a result of this new research, we will know more than ever before about the very many gays and lesbians in the UK whom our media products reach.”

GayMafiaWatch believes this current assault against ladslads.com is one such new technique dreamt up to cash in on the community. The above is clear proof of smarter, sneakier, move covert ways of harvesting the pink pound being explored and deployed – and the identity of those who are employing them.

More recently a “campaign” was launched on “Facebook” and promoted via the FitLads dating site after articles began to appear in “The Pink Paper” (which recently re-launched it’s own online presence) attempting to mount a campaign against “ladslads.com” with a rather dubious and blown-out-of-proportion story about a young man who had been told he would have to pay to have his ladslads.com profile removed which had been defaced.

Searching for this individual’s name on Google came up with a post apparently from someone of the same name claiming that his MSN messenger account had been hacked into. Even if this rather vague and contradictory story proves to be true and the actions of ladslads.com are right to be called into question – BUT clearly the bigger issue here is why all of a sudden has there been such a massive fuss focusing on this particular incident, and who would be benefiting from promoting it and smearing the company name through whatever means they have?

It could well be that “ladslads.com” has become too much of a threat to a threat to “them” and their friends, hence why the “The Pink Paper” has been so keen to pursuing this story whilst dismissing and ignoring other, more serious and relevant gay issues.

Fellow gays, please inform your peers of this possible stitch-up, and use this knowledge to protect your dignity and your own reputation. Don’t just sign up and lend your name to any old cause or campaign, especially when it is one promoted by the media itself that has the indisputable and dubious intention of protecting it’s own vested interests by getting it’s hands on your pink purse.