False ad claims see 999 mag wound up

The Insolvency Service has obtained a High Court order winding up a magazine publisher which made millions after making false claims to advertisers.

Liverpoool-based Abingdon House published a magazine called SafeGuard which has been published quarterly since 2006. It says that it 'aims to raise public awareness in local communities touch on broad contemporary issues such as crime reduction, drink driving, bullying and health issues".

But ironically it seems that its own telesales staff have been sailing close to the wind legally.

The Insolvency service found the telesales agents misled advertisers by claiming to be serving police officers and by implying that a proportion of the cost of the advertisement would be used to support the emergency service.

It is also found that the title was 'distributed in such a way as to be of little or no commercial value to the advertisers'and 'used aggressive, misleading and inappropriate debt collection methods to persuade businesses to pay up".

The company's turnover during the last three years of trading was said to be £4m with dividends of £600,000 paid to shareholders.

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