Fenuxe sued over charges it misled advertisers

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READ MORE | Fenuxe scrubs circulation numbers after lawsuit

A gay-owned Atlanta medical practice is suing gay glossy Fenuxe, alleging that the magazine misrepresented its circulation numbers, over-charged it for advertising and stopped running some of its ads even though it kept paying for them.

The lawsuit from Pride Medical, filed Friday in DeKalb County Superior Court, asks Judge Cynthia Becker to compel Fenuxe and parent company TW Media Group to provide an accounting of their circulation and distribution, and to award damages for breach of contract, attorneys fees and “for such other relief as may be shown at trial.”

“Defendant breached its Contract with Plaintiff when it stopped publishing one of the two (2) additional half-page advertisements which it contracted to publish for Plaintiff, without adjusting Plaintiff's pricing accordingly,” according to the lawsuit.

“Defendant also breached its Contract with Plaintiff to the extent that its Magazine did not in fact have the level of distribution which was periodically represented to Plaintiff and to Defendant's other clients and customers,” the lawsuit adds.

“Such breach has injured Plaintiff in an amount to be shown by the evidence at trial and for which Plaintiff is entitled to relief in this action,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says it contracted with Fenuxe in April 2010 for advertising, a campaign costing $696.50 per issue for one full-page and two half-pages of ads. Since, the company has paid $72,041.91 for advertising, according to the lawsuit.

Before Pride Medical started advertising, Fenuxe told the practice that it “'reaches nearly 70,000 readers every other week' and its circulation at that time was '20,000 copies printed bi-weekly.'” Pricing for the ad campaign was based on that circulation but those numbers are false, the lawsuit alleges.

“Upon information and belief, Plaintiff avers that Defendant's distribution levels are not now, and, at least since these parties' Contract was signed have not been, as were represented to Plaintiff and to Defendant's other clients and customers,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that in 2011, Fenuxe told advertising clients that it distributed at least 15,000 copies of each issue, a number that increased to more than 25,000 copies by January 2012 and reached 30,000 to 35,000 copies for the Pride issue published in October (top photo). But the lawsuit alleges that Fenuxe never published that many copies.

Also, Pride Medical alleges that one of its two half-page ads stopped appearing in the magazine in October 2012, but the pricing of the advertising campaign was not adjusted. The lawsuit says that the practice requested “a full accounting of the actual services and levels of distribution” from Fenuxe, but the magazine did not provide the information. The lawsuit asks for documentation for the number of copies of the magazine printed and distributed per issue since May 2010 and the names of the magazine's printers. It also wants an accounting of the Pride Medical ads that appeared in print and the distribution level of the magazine included in media kits since January 2010.

“Defendant acted in bad faith in its dealings with Plaintiff, has been stubbornly litigious herein, and/or has caused Plaintiff such unnecessary trouble and expense, that Plaintiff shall be entitled to an award or attorney's fees and expenses of litigation in this matter in an amount to be shown by the evidence at trial,” according to the lawsuit.

Lee Anisman, Pride Medical's president and CEO, declined to comment on the lawsuit on Friday. Tyler Calkins, the magazine's editor and publisher, declined to discuss the lawsuit. Dwayne Kinney, the magazine's digital editor and attorney, referred questions about the lawsuit to Decatur attorney Todd Poole, who declined to discuss the case.

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