Saturday 8 September 2018

One day one photo - 8: Bye bye Factory Media

The end of the assembly line for this cycling media outlet
It was quite a coincidence and also a surprise when I received the letter from Factory Media's administrators today.

I had recently been having trouble receiving payment from them for the features I was contributing to one of their titles, Total Women's Cycling.

In fact, on one occasion when I rang chasing up payment the guy in their accounts payable department said to me that they were awaiting payment from their debtors before they could pay me. They were already two months late settling my invoice.

I managed to speak directly to their finance director who eventually paid what I was owed. But then a further contribution I made went into overdue payment status. When I chased this up they were apologetic, talking about wanting to maintain a good relationship with contributors, blah blah blah. But they still didn't pay, and after another chaser email I then received the letter from their proposed liquidators.

Maybe I should have seen the clues - the late payments, and editorial staff leaving but not being replaced. But it's not the first thing that comes to mind when dealing with a publishing company that owns 15 titles........

In fact if I had checked the Companies House records even 18 months ago I would have known straight away that Factory Media were in big trouble. With net liabilities of around £2 million they would have been struggling to cover their costs back in Spring 2017.

It's quite scary when I think about the work I was doing for them, supplying those invoices in ignorant bliss! I was lucky I got my pay! So there we are. I am just under a couple of hundred pounds light, not knowing whether I will ever see that....

I wonder if this is a sign of the times for the cycling industry. On the same day Evans Cycles announced they are seeking £10m in an urgent bid to keep the firm afloat. In addition, Rapha have had to close down one of their divisions. I hope that things can still remain remotely buoyant in the cycling industry.

Moving forward, as a supplier of words in this sector I will need to be more aware of clues when making my editorial decisions.

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