Tag Archives: Simon Topham

MPG media partners with Stonewall

We are delighted to announce that, as of March, Stonewall will become its newest charity partner.

MPG, via its magazines (GT and DIVA) and stores (Prowler and Expectations), and through its unprecedented audience reach, will help Stonewall with campaign awareness and fundraising initiatives for LGBTQ equality over the next year, mainly through editorial, advertising, digital marketing and in-store support.

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall said ”I am delighted with this partnership and look forward to working with MPG on our forthcoming campaigns. Having MPG on board to provide us with their support and reach will be great for us going forward.”

Kim Watson Media & Marketing Director commented “We look forward to working on some great campaigns in partnership with Stonewall and the diverse communities we are able to reach .”
Simon Topham, CEO for MPG added ”We are delighted to be working closely with Stonewall again in an important year of change for both organisations.“

For more information, please contact:
Scott Davidson, Retail Marketing Manager, Millivres Prowler Ltd. Tel: 020 7424 7411 email: scott.davidson@millivres.co.uk
or Rachel Cohen, Director of Communications, Stonewall. Tel: 020 7593 3469 email: rachel.cohen@stonewall.org.uk
Stonewall was founded in 1989 in response to the introduction of Section 28 of the Local Government Act. Stonewall is working to achieve equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in all aspects of their lives.
For more information, please visit www.stonewall.org.uk, follow us on Twitter @StonewallUK or find us on Facebook.

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MPG announces new ownership and direction

In its 40th year MPG, Britain’s biggest LGBT business whose activities include: Gay Times (GT); DIVA; Prowler Stores; Prowler Distribution and Expectations, is delighted to announce exciting major changes and plans for future growth.

Chris Graham-Bell, previously the Chairman of the MPG Board, has now retired from the company he founded 40 years ago. At the same time all shareholdings in MPG have been sold and a new holding company has been formed. This company now incorporates some of the previous minority shareholdings together with two major shareholders Simon Topham, current CEO and a new investor, James Frost CEO of Coast Digital.

In the past 3 years Simon Topham has led the company in a process of restructuring and transition which has restored the company to profitability. He will remain CEO and lead the Executive Director team, which includes Kim Watson F IDM, Media and Marketing Director, Robert Hanwell, Operations Director and Anthony Martin, Finance Director.

James Frost who joins MPG as Strategy Director brings with him a proven record in online and digital business and together with Coast’s digital expertise MPG is set to benefit from working very closely on plans to greatly expand its digital media and online retail businesses.

As well as developing online and media brands, MPG will continue to invest in their flagship retail stores Prowler (in London and Brighton) and Expectations, including in 2015 a much expanded Mister B store.

There will also be ongoing investment in new products by Prowler Distribution.

MPG will remain a community focused operation, but as a revitalised digital company, will build on its wealth of talent and experience of LGBT business. Plans have already begun to invest and develop its market leading brands to continue the growth of its international business interests.

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Photo by DIVA Assistant Editor Carrie Lyell

MPG highly recognised in Inde Pink List 2013

It has been a great year for MPG in the 2013 Independent on Sunday’s Pink List published 13 October 2013, honoring the most influential LGBT men and women of the year.

Simon Topham CEO, was credited as a new entry in 39th place, one of the highest places for a business person and well deserved after 20 years of effective top level management, of this business and the changes he has made to culture and direction of the company in his new role.

In response to the news Simon remarked, “ I am absolutely delighted to be recognized in such an important year for LGBT rights and the gay business community.”

Pink List winner Paris Lees writes for DIVA, Gay Times and launched META as a digital magazine with joint backing from MPG last year. High praise as Peter Tatchell, Human Rights activist was placed second with Clare Balding OBE.

Jane Cyzselska Editor of DIVA is a re-entry after two years judging the list at number 33, the highest placed LGBT magazine editor. As well as Paris, comedian and DIVA contributor Susan Calman was also honored at number 70.

Darren Scott GT Editor was also a new entry, after appearing on the journalist side bar last year, at 98th place. Former GT journalists Patrick Strudwick and Tris Reid-Smith were also honored and Paul Burston featured in the National Treasures list.

Kim Watson Media Director, joined the IoS editorial team on the panel of judges for the first time, along with Strategic Equality and Inclusion professional Christine Burns . Their influence made a difference to the variety, diversity and inclusiveness of this list, which saw a greater balance of gender, ethnicity, disability trans and bisexuality. 2013 featured many new faces as MPs and well known celebrities were given their own side bar tributes, thus a rise in recognition of some important organizations, campaigners and community groups is noticeable. (Ben Summerskill and Heather Peace sent their nominations via e-mail as they were unable to attend this panel session). There was also a section for newcomers to watch out for and top Internationals were also credited.
See the full list here http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/the-independent-on-sundays-pink-list-2013-8876183.html IoS Pink List 2013

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Millivres Prowler Announce new charity partnerships

In a new partnership which demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the community, the media and retail divisions of MPG are devoting special focus months to fundraise and raise awareness for six important charities.

Simon Topham, Managing Director of MPG commented “Millivres Prowler Group was born out of the gay liberation movement in the 70s and played a major role in raising awareness of HIV in the 80s and 90s. Our company has strong community bonds and we are keen to strengthen these even further. In the past we have been a principal donor to and sponsor of Stonewall, in addition to being a regular media sponsor and supporter of arts-based and Pride events”.

Focus months will comprise special fund-raising activities within the Prowler and Expectations stores, editorial and advertising features within GT (and in some cases DIVA), in addition to a range of other projects designed to raise the profile of all partners concerned. The schedule of the focus months is as follows:

Positive East
GMFA
The Food Chain
AVERT
National AIDS Trust
PACE

Mark Santos, Chief Executive of Positive East said:

‘Positive East is at the heart of the community of East London so to partner with a company with equally strong community bonds is just the perfect match for us. And it’s not just about money. A strong partnership has to benefit both organisations so we are delighted to be able to provide free HIV testing in Expectations. Can I thank MPG and say how very much we are looking forward to working together.’

Matthew Hodson, Chief Executive of GMFA commented:

“Each year thousands of UK gay men of all ages hear the devastating news that they have contracted HIV. Despite welcome improvements in the treatment of HIV there is no cure and living with the virus presents ongoing emotional and physical challenges. We’re thrilled to be working with MPG on this new initiative. Together we will raise awareness of the particular challenges of HIV in the 21st century and involve gay men in the delivery of new, frank and innovative campaigns to prevent new infections, improve gay men’s health and reduce the harms associated with HIV.”

Siobhán Lanigan, Chief Executive of the Food Chain said:

“This partnership is a chance for us to spread the word across the UK about the importance of good nutrition for people living with HIV. The gay community was at the very heart of The Food Chain when we began and that is still the case today in our 25th anniversary year. This is a great way to celebrate that contribution and we’re delighted to be working with MPG and the other charities.”

Simon Forrest, Chair of the Board of Trustees for AVERT commented:

“The provision of accurate, clear and evidence-based information about HIV & AIDS is still one of the most important components of HIV & AIDS work. Enabling people to make informed choices about their lives, empowering and supporting them to mobilise communities is demonstrably valuable and important in both prevention and provision of treatment and care. AVERT is proud and pleased to partner with MPG with its strong links and focus on community. We look forward to helping to spread further awareness of AVERT’s role and contribution and much more importantly, refocus hearts and minds on HIV prevention.”

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT said:

“We are really excited to be working in partnership with Millivres Prowler and, as a small charity, are really proud they chose us for this opportunity. World AIDS Day is on 1 December so we are particular pleased to see our dedicated month will be December due to the heightened interest in HIV around that time.”

Margaret Unwin, Chief Executive of PACE said:

‘Since 1985, PACE has worked with LGBT people to improve their mental health and well-being. We are delighted to be linking up with MPG on this exciting venture which will give us the opportunity on February 14th to focus the spotlight on healthy relationships. And it’s a real bonus to get to know the other charities in the partnership and ensure we work really collaboratively for the benefit of the LGBT community. Fantastic!’

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