IMV statement on VAN2017 out of court settlement

Statement:

Indigenous Media Vanuatu (IMV) was in some media editorials lately concerning a lawsuit against VAN2017. This statement is released to clear the air about the case and how it was settled quietly by VAN2017.

IMV owners received a settlement from VAN2017 and have been asked by Mark Stafford, George Iapson, and fellow board members not to disclose the amount nor come out on media about the sum paid for settlement.

IMV owners thank VAN2017 for their good understanding and do know that a court case will greatly hinder Clint Floods chances of ever bidding or applying for any future regional, international, or world events. However the settlement does prove, VAN2017 do know and do understand there is a breach in the contract they have signed.

After IMV signed the VAN2017 contract, for publicity and promotions, the War Horse Saloon deaths happened. Public outcry rose over the deaths and a lot of people came out voicing their concerns over the issue. As tensions rose, friends of War Horse Saloon started to pull strings around the Port Vila business community and rallied against IMV owned social media site Yumi Toktok Stret (YTS) for allowing people a voice.

Over 10,000 people at the time voiced their concerns and this became an issue for some of the expat community who decided it was time to shut down the one place that allows people too much freedom and room to talk and so the fight against YTS began.

IMV without notice (as stipulated in the signed contract) received a letter by Clint Flood stating the contract between VAN2017 and IMV is terminated. A lot of reasons were given, all which were outside the policies that formed the signed agreement. The termination letter stated “IMV operated outside of the VAN2017 Social Media Policy” which to IMV understanding never existed. During the meetings leading up to the signed agreement, Clint Flood and marketing associates did say and we quote “VAN2017 does not have a social media plan in place” to which VAN2017 wanted to engage IMV as it does have a social media capability and the reach needed to boost VAN2017 online. The settlement saved Clint Flood, because if we had gone to court, we would’ve asked Clint Flood to produce the VAN2017 social media policy and the only business in Vanuatu that does have a social media policy is IMV and we know of no other.

After receiving the VAN2017 termination letter, IMV followed up with inside sources close to Clint Flood to the sudden termination letter and how it came about. The answer IMV got was “Clint Flood was forced by some sponsors who are friends of War Horse Saloon owners to terminate the IMV contract.” IMV was told by this same source that one particular sponsor “threatened Clint Flood, that they will pull out their sponsorship if the IMV contract was not terminated right away”

A day after, the small group that had a real grudge against YTS went on BuzzFM with the support of long time YTS nemesis Dam McGarry called for businesses with ties to YTS to pullout. A day later a cartoon of YTS and VAN2017 contract ending appeared on “Kranke Kona” on the Daily Post newspaper. How all this information got out quick, IMV does not know, but given the people behind all these, it became clear to IMV who was behind all the moves.

When lawyers filed the case in court, VAN2017 board members came out strongly against the owners of IMV and in the process unveiled themselves. In a meeting with VAN2017 after the case was filed, Clint Flood vowed in front of IMV owners that “he will never pay a cent to IMV” claims, but yet a few monthss later paid the settlement after the court conference was announced.

There is a deed of release written by VAN2017 board members and signed by IMV lawyers. After all the media talks, and newspaper publicity, VAN2017 wrote up a deed to stop IMV from writing articles about the case, and also to stop IMV, a publicity business, from publishing anything about the settlement. However, the deed was never a court order, and IMV is a publicity business, and IMV unless ordered by the courts will publish anything it wants without fear or prejudice. IMV does encourage VAN2017 to use YTS or feel free to go to DP as George Iapson demonstrated when he and Dan McGarry ridiculed IMV owners without reason.

The VAN2017 settlement to IMV does prove VAN2017 are fearful of a lot of things including a court hearing which IMV have stated clear, we will put on the witness box everybody involved in the issue and we will ensure the world knows about this issue. The quick intervention by lawyers somehow cooled the issue but IMV wants to make things clear to VAN2017 board members that VAN2017 board members do not have any jurisdiction or authority to dictate nor try to redirect how IMV operates YTS.

IMV thanks VAN2017 for realizing a mistake they have brought upon themselves and reminds them to be more careful in the future and IMV strongly cautions VAN2017 board members on any further actions that may further damage VAN2017 reputation.

IMV thanks all the YTS followers and subscribers for making YTS one of the biggest social media sites in the Pacific with over 2.5 million followers in the Pacific Region and reaching over 47 countries around the world. IMV appreciates all your efforts and we will always stand by your opinion always.

Author

Julian Ligo

Director

The current director for Yumi Toktok Stret. A strong advocator for the "internet" as a tool to support good governance. Currently promoting the internet as the tool to drive change and believes "media must play a better role in educating society"