Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Fighting the good fight

Up against a government monopoly, Saltscapes magazine, published out of Dartmouth, is suing the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission for stealing its idea for a new food, drink and lifestyle magazine. Jim and Linda Gourlay, the co-publishers, set out the facts in the "publishers pencil" column in the magazine's July/August issue (the one with the handsome Atlantic puffin on the cover).

Saltscapes Publishing Limited had approached the liquor commission confidentially to enter into a distribution partnership. Encouraged by the commission, the publishers made a very detailed presentation in March 2002, which was ultimately rejected. In December 2002, the liquor commission issued a tender for an identical magazine concept. When Saltscapes objected that it was a breach of confidentiality, the commission backed down. Saltscapes then proceeded with the launch of Good Taste in November 2003.

But the liquor commission did eventually start a competing magazine and every one of the beverage alcohol ads that Good Taste had, switched. As the editorial put it: "Several agency representatives indicated verbally that they were doing so reluctantly, but felt pressured by the NSLC monopoly." So the Gourlays felt they had no option but to sue.

Are there many similarities of this situation with that of the beseiged competitors of the Food & Drink publication from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario? You bet.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home