A Chester publisher which produced a magazine supposedly aimed at sharing police initiatives has been wound up by the High Court for making false and misleading statements to induce businesses to place ads.
The closure of Ginavo Media Ltd, with a registered office at 125-127 Richmond Place, Boughton, followed an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Financial statements filed by the company showed it received an average yearly income of £400,000 from the sale of advertisements.
Called The Blue Line, the quarterly magazine purported to share police initiatives across police authorities.
It was distributed free of charge and was funded by the sale of advertising space to small businesses. But the investigation found the company’s telesales staff made false and misleading claims when soliciting advertisements including:
■ Implying or stating that they were calling from or on behalf of the police
■ Implying or stating that funds raised from advertisers would be used for police campaigns on issues such as crime prevention or would go to police charities
■ Stating the magazine would be distributed nationally when the majority of the 250 print-run (typically 224 copies) would be sent to the advertisers in the particular edition
■ Stating numerous businesses had agreed to advertise or to multiple ads, when no such agreements had been reached.
Enquiries made of those police authorities which had received copies of the magazine established it was of no use to them whatsoever and was immediately consigned to the recycling bin.
Colin Cronin, investigation supervisor with the Insolvency Service, said: “The magazine published by Ginavo Media Ltd served no useful purpose to either the police or the advertisers. It was simply a device by which the company preyed on the altruistic nature of genuine businesses by falsely representing that monies raised by way of advertisements would be applied to the benefit of police initiatives.
“Instead the overwhelming majority of funds raised were paid directly to the company’s directors and telesales staff and just one charitable donation of £500 was evident from the company’s accounts.
“I would urge any business which is contacted by cold-call and asked to support the emergency services in this way to make full enquiries into the service being offered before agreeing to advertise.”
Ginavo Media Ltd – company registration number 07091411 - was formed in December, 2009.
The petition to wind-up Ginavo Media Ltd was presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 on September 21, 2016. The company was wound up on November 15, 2016 and the Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator.
Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.