Tag Archives: jordan kensington

The London Weekly and Invincible investigated – I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole

The investigation into The London Weekly and Invincible gathers pace – now James Ball is setting out his stall: he doesn’t like what he sees, and neither do I. As a result, I want to ask you to do something at the end of this article*.

The group of people looking into this at Help Me Investigate, including James, have uncovered a wealth of information about The London Weekly and the people behind it. These can be summed up in the following:

  • Repeated connections with the Invincible Group, a project headed by Jordan Kensington that has a similar history of overhyped launches.
  • Unsupported claims of investment, staffing, distribution and company structure.
  • People who have been asked to work for nothing – for example, commission-only ad sales and internships with no support.
  • Reproduction of content from elsewhere, not just in the newspaper but on the websites of The London Weekly and Invincible Group themselves – the distribution figure of 250,000, for example, appears to be a simple copy and paste from the Metro-in-Scotland. We’re trying to find out if this copying includes advertising.
image of London Weekly spread

Click through to a set of annotated images of the second edition showing where copy was taken from

It’s still not clear whether the project is actually breaking the law, but if I was a student or freelance journalist considering being involved in this project, or anything related to the Invincible Group, I would steer well clear. That’s just my opinion. As James says:

“The people who’ve really been jerked about are prospective employees, and perhaps even those who got hired. In the wake of the widespread coverage of the new freesheet when it was first announced last year, laid-off sales staff from the London Lite, Metro, London Paper and other publications sent CVs.

“After signing NDAs (which as they refer to non-registered entities would likely be unenforceable), some were offered sales jobs: based entirely on commission.

“One such individual was offered the role of “advertising director” having never so much as spoken to anyone on the title. He was expected to work with no basic pay, but instead would receive 35% commission on advertising sold. Unsurprisingly, he decided to decline the offer.”

James’ post is worth reading in full for more detail on what’s been dug up on Invincible/The London Weekly. Likewise, his post listing the questions that Invincible/The London Weekly need to answer.

*Meanwhile, here’s what I’m suggesting. Please blog about this issue and link to this post with the phrases ‘London Weekly‘ and ‘Invincible Group‘. Given the strong PageRank of the Online Journalism Blog, a search on either should then bring this near the top of results – hence the headline – allowing potential employees to make an informed decision (and former employees to add their own experiences).

And if you can add anything more, please post a comment or email me on paul (at) helpmeinvestigate (dot) com.

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Help Me Investigate and The London Weekly

Since the middle of last week a group of people on crowdsourcing platform Help Me Investigate* have been asking questions about The London Weekly, a new freesheet that was due to launch in the capital.

The team behind the publication – ‘Global Publishing Group’ – had boasted £10.5m investment and a 50-strong team. But the public face of The London Weekly, the lack of advertising for those jobs, and lack of registration for the company, raised some eyebrows.

The paper did indeed launch on the Friday, although the distribution was limited (despite a promised circulation of 250,000) and the production values poor. More questions were being asked.

By then the Help Me Investigate group had already dug up quite a bit on the publication – in particular, a number of links between The London Weekly and the Invincible Group. My particular favourite was ‘Joe-T”s discovery that Jordan Kensington, the founder of the Invincible Group, claims to own a primary school named after Mother Theresa. The untraceable ‘Editor in Chief’ listed on The London Weekly website also happens to be ‘Agnes A. Theresa’.

Another discovered that the ‘Investor Relations’ page on the Invincible Group’s website has been copied from the Ryanair website (even down to ‘Latest Passenger figures’), while others discovered recently created Wikipedia entries edited by just one, new, user.

The investigation is still trying to track down all of the 50+ staff listed on The London Weekly website, most of whom appear to be freelancers who have had little or no involvement with the paper, or names with no apparent online presence.

In addition, we are now looking to contact advertisers who have appeared in the paper to see what they know about the publication.

Meanwhile, James Ball has written an open letter to The London Weekly laying out the questions raised by the investigation so far. It’s pretty lengthy, and gives a perfect summary of what has been dug up so far by various people.

If you want to join the investigation – whether that’s simply to browse, or make a simple phonecall – post a comment below, send me a tweet, or use the form on Help Me Investigate.

*Disclosure for non-regular readers: Help Me Investigate is run by me, Nick Booth, Colin Meek, Jon Bounds and Stef Lewandowski.