blood money

Advocate + Out Owner Here Media Is Happily Taking Target’s Ad Dollars

Visitors to Gay.com and Out.com are going to find advertisements from gay America’s most-hated retailer of the moment, Target. And who owns those websites? Oh, just Here Media, the stumbling gay media company which professes to support the LGBT community. It does this, apparently, by invoicing the very company that’s been working to strip gays of their rights.

From donating cash to help elect anti-gay candidate Tom Emmer governor of Minnesota (he lost) to selectively targeting pro-gay activist groups because the retailer doesn’t want shoppers thinking the company supports gay marriage, Target has quickly earned a reputation of throwing LGBT Americans under the bus in favor of chasing a dollar. Now we see Here Media, run by Stephen Jarchow and Paul Colichman, is getting in the game. Even Lady Gaga realized she couldn’t reconcile her moral compass by supporting a company that doesn’t support her little monsters, terminating her ill-fated sales agreement.

But the soulless hacks running America’s largest LGBT media company into the ground? No such problem.

In the banner ads you see here (on Gay.com above, and Out.com at right), a small Target “bullseye” is visible in the Converse One-Star ad; clicking on the ad takes you to Target.com.

Here Media, of course, is the sister company of Regent Entertainment, which along with its dozen of shell companies was sued by Bank of America and Merill Lynch for perpetrating an alleged $90 million fraud. Maybe getting a check from Target is a way to put a down payment on their settlement? Funnily enough The Advocate, which is also owned by Here Media, has even covered the company’s anti-gay political donations. So it’s not like Here Media’s executives don’t know what they’re doing. In fact, it appears they know all too well what we’re doing: We couldn’t find any of these Target ads after clicking around on Advocate.com, perhaps because even Here Media’s group of stupids are smart enough to keep their news-watching readers away from their anti-gay ad campaigns. If you spot ’em, let us know. (Update: Commenter Anthony says he saw the Target ads on Advocate.com.)

Meanwhile, last month Here Media filed a lawsuit against Queerty claiming unfair competition based on our recent reports (here, here, and here) about the company’s alleged fraud scheme. The company claimed Queerty was only reporting on Here Media (and cousin Regent) to gain an unfair economic advantage in the LGBT media marketplace. Here Media, hilariously, then dismissed its own lawsuit against us, realizing any court would conclude that a company accused of a $90 million fraud (and, now, of taking cash from an anti-gay company) has newsworthy value, and using lawsuits to squash reporting is not only a gross misappropriation of tort law, but also illegal. Funnier still: In its court filing, Here Media made no mention of the whopping $90 million lawsuit that’s been slapped against its sister company, as if the two events are unrelated.

UPDATE: It appears a day after our post, Here Media has pulled this campaign from its websites. Did someone find a conscience?

UPDATE: Or not. Commenter Anthony says the ads are still live.