Bankruptcy causes thousands owed
National advertising agency owes campus publications across Canada
Campus Plus (CP), a national advertising agency, went bankrupt last year and as a result, the agency now owes campus publications across Canada thousands of dollars. Campus Plus was a subsidiary of Campus University Press.
Erin Hudson, president of Campus University Press says, “The way it works is Campus Plus would contact major suppliers (like Tim Horton’s) and get them to advertise with university publications. We get contracted to put their ad in your publication and once you provide proof you’ve printed the ad you will get a portion of the money.”
Robert May, executive director of CP was also let go.
The bankruptcy has affected multiple campus publications nationally. Luke Sawczak is the editor-in-chief of the Medium, a publication in Mississauga. He says CP owes them approximately $10,000 dollars.
“Our student levy is not enough to cover normal operating expenses and must be supplemented by ad revenue,” writes Sawczak in an email interview. “In the past, losses in ad revenue have sometimes been compensated for by reduced spending, including salaries. As a non-profit we rarely deal with much extra cash flow and $10,000 is not negligible for our budget.”
According to Sawczak, the publication was able to sign with Campus Network, another organization that has been able to provide a reliable supply of their ads. Previously, Campus Network was bought by CP, but had come back as a separate organization this year, helping reduce the impact of losing money due to the bankruptcy.
“The effects of an ongoing shortfall would have been much worse. That said, it’ll be hard to judge the full effect on our financial situation until this year’s audit is done in the fall,” writes Sawczak.
Another publication, the Silhouette in Hamilton, Ont. was also hit by the bankruptcy. Executive editor of the Silhouette, Jemma Wolfe, says that CP owes them roughly $30,000. Luckily, the publication relies heavily on student levies to keep the publication afloat.
Both publications have said they are still waiting for payments.
“CP hasn’t sent out any payments,” says Hudson. “It’s in the process of finalizing the bankruptcy and who receives when. There are a few legal hoops to jump through. Currently there is a list of creditors and what they’re owed that is waiting to be approved from the government of Ontario. Once approved, then the cheques will come.”
Campus University Press is currently owed a substantial amount of money from CP, but has written it off as a loss.
“We are at the bottom of the list, since CP was a subsidiary of Campus University Press. We aren’t expecting to get paid anything.”
Prior to going bankrupt, the president of Campus University Press was also CEO of CP. Hudson has been the acting president since May 1, taking over for Sam Brooks. Brooks could not be contacted for an interview.
The Reflector at Mount Royal University was also hit by the bankruptcy. According to news editor Kaity Brown, the publication had to alter some of its printing.
“[We] had to make some changes such as smaller papers (16 pagers) and also we weren’t able to get some glossy issues because those were more expensive,” says Brown.
A report is to be released in the next couple of months with more information.