Evo Media loses main advertiser after circulation questions and staff payment problems

Gay news network Evo Media has lost its main advertiser after questions about whether staff were being properly paid and the veracity of circulation claims about its weekly newspaper SX.

Health promotion agency ACON told Mumbrella that it has pulled the plug on advertising with the group.

Evo bought SameSame from Junkee Media 18 months ago. But since then a number of staff and freelancers working on both website SameSame and magazine SX have complained about not being paid.

After the concerns first came to light ACON, which is mainly government funded , initially told Mumbrella the ads were on hold. But last week it said that it had now ceased advertising.

In a statement issued to Mumbrella, ACON said: “We met with Evo Media on 10 April 2017. During this meeting, we sought further information and responses to the allegations that have been raised against Evo Media.

“We were not satisfied with the response we received and following on from this meeting, there was a request for further documentation. We also advised Evo Media that until we receive these documents, we will not make any further financial arrangements with the company. This includes advertising.

“The reach and circulation of our HIV prevention, other sexual health and community messages in print media is one part of our comprehensive approach to our education efforts. We need to be confident that our promotional spend reaches our community, and whoever we undertake spends with are honest about their distribution figures and practices.

“We also have concerns about employees of any ACON supplier not being paid appropriately,” said the spokesperson.

SameSame does not appear to have been updated for more than a month, while the website linked to SX – – has been “down for scheduled maintenance” for a similar amount of time”.

GNN down for “scheduled maintenance”

Evo Media was created in 2013 and bought the assets of Evolution Publishing, a company that went into liquidation in 2013.

Evolution Publishing owed $407,000 in unpaid income tax, GST and penalties to the tax office, as well as incurring debts of more than $250,000 to Blue Star printing.

Evolution Publishing licensed the titles to a new company, Evo Media, in a bid to try and maintain the gay and lesbian titles.

Evo Media was presented as an entirely new company and separate entity to Evolution Publishing, although it published the same titles and employed the same staff.

At the time, Evo Media said all staff and contributors who worked at Evolution Publishing and its publications had been offered employment with Evo Media.

Evo Media has not responded to several calls and emails from Mumbrella inviting comment.


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