Spain’s Globus Comunicacion’s Mira! magazine – and a warning to anyone selling them a story …
Six months ago I received an email from a charming Alfredo Marron, Presidente of Globus Comunicacion in Madrid, Spain:
Our company has recently successfully launched a weekly – DIME- as the first step in a plan that will follow two other weeklies, all for women and very popular approach. To be specific in the line of Take a Break and Women´s Weekly.
For me it has been a pleasant surprise to find the existence of an agency like yours specialized in real-life stories.
The Spanish market has very little experience (may be little demand!) in publishing personal stories and therefore it is necessary for us to count with a good selection of stories born in other countries.
I wonder if you could give us your best advice to buy good stories and especially “universal”,ie, valid for other audiences than the English one.
I am at your disposal to exchange all specifications both of us need to advance in this project that I would like to be very agreeable.
Principe de Vergara nº 109 2ºpl
Alfredo Marron then proceeded to send me a further email ‘to give you a deep knowledge of our Company.’
The impressive www.Globuscom.es portfolio included many magazines and so I felt sure I was dealing with a bona fide organisation.
Over the coming weeks Mr Marron proceeded to ask me to send him stories that I thought might be suitable for the new real-life magazine he was launching – a magazine now called Mira!
I thought it sounded an exciting project. Also many Featureworld interviewees love selling their stories abroad so I set about finding some stories that had already appeared in the UK press and mags.
Mr Marron soon came back with his choices and I contacted the interviewees whose stories he’d chosen and agreed a fee with them on behalf of Mira! magazine to be paid.
Copy was rewritten for Mira! magazine and photographs were captioned and sent off.
Alarm bells should have rung when payment for the first batch of three stories did not arrive as we had agreed (Globus Mira! was to pay within 30 days from receipt of an invoice). However, Mr Marron apologised and the money was soon sent.
He then requested more stories for Mira! and a further seven stories were provided.
However, since then – and with invoices now months overdue – only two more payments have been forthcoming.
Meanwhile Globus Mira! has used Featureworld copyrighted photos on its Facebook page – something that is prohibited. And despite asking Mr Marron, his features editor Amalia Mosquera and Globus Financial director Txema Hdez when they will pay, none of them respond to any emails or requests.
I am sure Mr Marron believes as he is in Spain it is going to be too much hassle for me to chase him legally for payment so he has simply stolen these stories and has got away with it. Maybe he has money problems and can’t afford to honour his obligations.
However, he has not banked on the internet and certainly not the power of Sellyourstoryuk.com, Featureworld’s sister site, to get to the top of Google with this warning about his operation.
I have asked Mr Marron at Globus for an explanation and invited him to place a comment in explanation on this blog. But he has so far declined.
Hence I believe it is in the public interest for any writer, photographer, freelancer or agency or other organisation dealing with Globus to read this post and think seriously about supplying this individual, Mira! and his company Globus with stories or photos.
You have been warned!
NB: Despite not being paid, Featureworld, which always honours its obligations, has paid all interviewees involved anyway.
UPDATE: Mr Marron has since emailed to say Mira magazine has closed. He said he will be honouring all payments to contributors. However, Featureworld has yet to see a penny of the money his company owes.