Media watchdog GLAAD has been making some intriguing business arrangements.
A source tells us that the
DC-based non-profit either sold or gave Genre a list of their donors. Genre, in turn, used that list to send out free copies of the recently revamped gay glossy. Those unrequested issues are then tallied as part of the magazine’s subscription data, thus boosting the monthly’s standing with potential advertisers. Sneaky, huh?
At first we didn’t believe this tale, but a Genre sales employee confirmed the rumors, but didn’t seem to know whether GLAAD took money for the list or if they shared it out of the goodness of their homo hearts. Said this employee, whom we’ve decided to call Informative Irwin: “I don’t know if they purchased it or if they just gave it to us.” Right…
Before we move on with this, here’s more of the conversation between our editor and old Irwin:
AB: So, GLAAD gave Genre the list and Genre was using that list to mail out magazines to GLAAD supporters?
AB: But you don’t know what sort of trade there was?
AB: And those magazines that go out – when you release your numbers to investors or advertisers, those count as subscribers?
II: Right, because then they get a chance to opt-out on it.
These surprised subscribers have the option to then call Genre and ask to be removed from their list. Apparently loads of straight people, lesbians and grannies have been flooding their offices with angry pleads.
Hungry for more information, we approached Genre publisher William Kapfer, who offered a more shady and ultimately protective answer, telling us that the company uses a lists broker. He also points fingers at another publishing company, but makes sure to testify to the methods effectiveness:
To be successful with any direct marketing campaign it is important to first recognize who your clients are in order to target them effectively. We leave those details to the professionals. We have used a “list rental” approach on a few occasions over the years–when launching a new campaign or wanting to sample consumer opinion on a certain topic, such as “boxers or briefs?”
We will send out a few hundred copies to a target audience–always including multiple “opt-out” opportunities. We include a full-page, cover-wrap “opt-out” on all copies–to keep it clear for the subscriber. I received both Conde Nast Portfolio and Absolute at my apartment, the same way–and am still reading them.
Not anymore, Absolute folded.
So, obviously all magazines use list brokers to grab new readers. That doesn’t seem unethical, right? What does seem unethical, however, is that GLAAD used its donor list to help a magazine – or possibly many magazines – sell their product. Our original calls to GLAAD garnered no results. Of the three communications people we spoke with, none could properly communicate how Genre received their donor list. We’ve been bugging them all day and finally got this lackluster response from GLAAD Senior Director of Communications Marc McCarthy, “We sometimes share the names of members who have allowed their information to be made available via the list serve organizations we have under contract.”
We wonder if GLAAD tells their members exactly which companies will be contacting them. Considering all the angry calls into the Genre office, we doubt it.
FYI…..GLAAD isn’t based in DC- I doubt they sold their list to anyone.
I can’t help but comment again. Is there not enough going on in the world like ENDA, Gay Marriage, the US dollar steadily declining, gee I don’t know a WAR!!! and you guys decide to put down an organization that helps out the GLBT community..WTF!!! Do you realize theres a ton more important stuff going on out there that needs to be covered???
WHAT are you talking about, “WHAT”? SAAD hasn’t helped out the gay community in years. They are always late to every gay bashing media issue and their annual reports on the absence of positive gay characters in the arts is but a failing report card on their own mission.
As for selling/giving their mailing lists away to Genre, they sold their soul to antigay industry funding COORS years ago. THIS would be a step UP!
Who fucking cares? Seriously…or is this just becuase you’re anti-David Unger or have the hots for Mike Kokell? I know sure as hell AB ain’t Arnie Bautista because that kid’s rock solid and AB is clearly the anti-David Under/HX Andrew Belonsky…
I worked at a GQ Magazine – and we bought the Sports Illustrated list for a one time use. We had to offer an opt out, that is true. Those who did not want our magazine simply canceled it. All major publications do this. I am surprised that Genre was clever enough to do what the big boys do. We all love getting something for free. And the problem is???
I donate to HRC – and checked off the box that said that I am looking for additional promotional information. I received the Advocate Magazine through my donation at HRC – and love the magazine.
My GF and I joined the Federal Club through HRC and we ended up getting an Advocate subscription for free, too. What happened to Advocate? It looks anemic. OUT’s last cover was really awesome – very Vanity Fair. Is it still a gay publication. Does OUT stand for out-of-the-gay-life?
Rt. Rev. Dr. RES
I first read a copy of GENRE at the PVC airport waiting for a flight to BOS and then to YHZ. I know that the publication was interesting and we subscribed to it for a year or so, I believe.
I am unaware as are some who answered this thread about American L-G-sometimes B and seemingly never T politics. My views are, of course, coloured by Nigel, my American spouse, and his history with groups like HRC and GLAD…no and yes. GLAAD is led by the former mayor of Tempe AZ and the organisation is obviously less effective at promoting LG(B)(-T) programmes as they are in at least lowering the prejudicial score in either characterisations or scripting.
helps out the GLBT community? They always put it into politics. headache!
A gay on Findbilover.com
David Hauslaib, Queerty
“GLAAD will occasionally exchange personal information with other organizations through promotions, partnerships or otherwise. You may choose to withhold your personal information from exchange by selecting that option in your account settings on http://www.glaad.org, or by e-mailing [email protected].”
So, to be fair, they do say to those who register that their information can be sold. But many don’t realize it’s more than their name and address being sent off.
Meanwhile, it certainly is common practice that a magazine publisher will buy lists from other publishers, data mining (err, “marketing”) companies and the like. When a magazine folds, its most prized and valuable asset is its subscriber list.
What was shocking here is such a blatant profit scheme on GLAAD’s part to sell its member roster.
For what it’s worth, Queerty does not sell, rent, lease, or otherwise make public its user registration or email sign-up data — only on the aggregate, and in a non-identifiable way (i.e. how many of you are aged 18-34).
hells kitchen guy
Now you can address “outing” Arnie Bautista as “AB” and getting the nicest guy in magazine publishing in trouble for being honest.
Nice. Real nice.
hells kitchen guy
Oh wait, I misread Johnnie R and your own II and AB exchange. Erase! Although it’s not a very big staff – on the other hand, whoever it was wasn’t a state secret. And as others have said, who the fuck cares anyway??!?!?
Queerty â€“ whatâ€™s up? Both my lover and I are donors to GLAAD and we did not receive an offer for one of the *alleged* â€œfreeâ€ Genre subscriptions. To whom were these offers sent?
I think it is absolutely pathetic that Queerty would squander its opportunity to make legitimate editorial contributions to the LGBT communityâ€”and would rather focus its efforts on undermining a non-profit group dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of the LGBTQ community in the media.
Why do gay websites repeatedly target their own, rather than focus on more pressing issues, like the Department of Defense not being able to account more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions or the causes and effects of global climate change on our environment?
We are going to â€œincreaseâ€ our donation to GLAAD in 2008â€”and can only hope that with additional resources that GLAAD can continue to combat the defamation they experience within their own community.
And or all the â€œangry calls into the Genre officeâ€ I say get a life. Investing time into being angry over receiving something for free.??? How pathetic oneâ€™s life must be.
David, you wrote “What was shocking here is such a blatant profit scheme”??????
How dare a non-profit try to raise additional funds to help their cause and continue to protect their community. They sure have nerve. If I was a member of the GLAAD donor base, I would be so pissed to know that the non-profit that I was supporting was continuously exploring additional revenue streams.
I see that GLAAD has its staff trolls out in full force in this comments thread. The only people who would defend anything GLAAD does are people who are paid to do so.
Wait – I am a troll.
Don’t forget the Task Force:)
Those of you who think “AB” means “Arnie Bautista” need to read a little more closely. “Our editor” = Andrew Belonsky, ie: me.
Meanwhile, the schmucks griping about wasted editorial opportunity: I suggest you read some of our other work. Here’s one of my favorites: http://www.queerty.com/news/republicans-not-fit-to-survive-20071022/
AB [Not Arnie]
You’ve lost the opportunity to grab new readers who are visiting the site for the first time — when one signs on reads your bashing – we click off, perhaps not returning. You are inconsistent with your mission – bash non-profits, undermine other media outlets that speak to the Lesbian and Gay Community, or be an Advocate for the community. You cannot be everything. Figure it out – stick to your guns – and be true to that. I have read good stuff on here, but if I had not come back more than once, and simply read this article for the first time, would have thought – what morons. Why invest the time in these fake journalists. Good luck. Oh, I like GLAAD, as you can probably surmise.
Next, Wal Mart will be buying the Log Cabin Republican list to market their talking Jesus dolls with jars of anal lube.
LOL – That is Great, Charley! Genre will have free samples blown into each issue! Messy delivery.
DavidSOHO, I would say don’t waste your breath on Queerty but really they just love to dig their nails into anything that relates to David Unger, Genre, Neil Boulton, HX, Matthew Bank, etc. They love to bring them down so they can look better. Queerty is at its best when it focuses on the global LGBT situation — highlighting those that are trying to make it better and spotlighting those that are trying to tear them down. I’m all for highlighting those that aer trying to pull a double standard (say one thing and do another) but this isn’t the case at all. As someone who was in direct mail marketing, this stuff goes on ALL THE TIME. It’s nothing new. It’s nothing shocking. It’s business. And quite frankly, none of yours, Belonsky.
David Hauslaib, Queerty
@DavidSOHO : What is this mission you speak of? Inform and entertain is pretty much our primary goal. Unless you’ve read something otherwise?
If readers come to the site and don’t return, that’s their prerogative. But we’re not shaping our editorial to be a lowest common denominator destination; this site isn’t for all members of the GLBT community.
And as for these continued arguments along the lines of, “Why do you criticize gay non-profit organizations?” or even gay celebrities — it’s a tired and, to Queerty, moot point. Just because an organization or person is pro-gay, gay, or gay-related doesn’t mean they get a free pass. Criticism of these entities is much stronger from inside the community. Hating on GLAAD from outside the community? Now that would be homophobic.
Amen, David! (You adorable muffin.) And as for all this talk about whether list-sharing is ethical or not… one would hope that even after getting GLAAD’s mailing list, the editors at Genre would have had the sense to scrub the list of its female names. But then again, Neal Boulton isn’t much of a proofreader.
I would hope that Neal Boulton would be part of the business side of his magazine, or is that what editors do now. I doubt if he even knew that Genre was focusing on increasing readership – he is too busy focusing on himself. Point taken David about your not always being a friend to the community. I must disagree that just because you are “inside” the community that the “hating” is any less stringent. Being on the “inside” doesn’t give any one a free pass, either.
Hey – I’d like to get in bed with Genre – well, the cover model!
I was saying I was hoping that Neal Boulton would NOT be part of the business side of Genre. He would not have known what the business side was doing to encourage new subscribers.
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