2011 web conf: steering committee has final say so
Who paid for all field testing, coordination of people involved and other expenses before the 2011 web conference?
No More’s unconventional business structure, its claims that it has a “team” but no employees, Jane Randel’s claim that she is currently employed by No More – all provoke confusion about what No More is. And lots of questions, starting today with these three: who owns what?, who does the work and who supervises?, and who funds No More’s expenses.
No More claims to have only four “employees,” whom it calls a team, and No More does a lot of stuff for just four alleged part-timers. Someone has to decide who does what; and the director of No More is a PR professional, not a domestic violence or rape expert. No More obviously spends a lot of money, and whoever funds those expenditures likely gets a tax deduction, and someone else should either pay taxes on the contributions or be a non profit that doesn’t have to pay taxes.
Let’s start with who has the authority to make decisions about No More’s prized symbol.
Who Controls Use of the No More Trademark and Internet Domain?
As you already know if you’ve read my previous posts (e.g., Part V), No More claims that no one owns the teal No More logo. That claim clearly is false. Kate Spade owns the No More trademark (or symbol, logo, or brand) and owns the nomore.org domain. Kate Spade not only owns the brand, it has “mortgaged” it by pledging it as collateral for corporate bank loans.
In spite of not owning the symbol and saying no one else owns it, nomore.org prescribes very specific requirements for its use, including the unique teal color. Speaking of the unique teal color, check out Kate Spade’s teal purses. (They’re only $358, none of which goes to No More as far as I know.)
Questions: Who established the specific use requirements? Who enforces the use restrictions? What will No More do if Kate Spade starts selling merchandise bearing the No More logo in addition to the teal color? What will No More do if Kate Spade’s big-bank creditors, which own security interests in the trademark, “repossess” the logo and try to sell it to pay off some of Kate Spade’s debt?
What will No More do if Kate Spade decides to use the nomore.org domain or sell it? Who will decide what to do?
Does the Joyful Heart Foundation, No More’s fiscal sponsor, have any say-so about control of the logo and the domain name?
Who Manages No More’s Online Stores?
No More has two online stores. On its website, one of the buttons says “take action.” Clicking on “take action” gets you to several menu choices, one of which is “shop.” There you will find pictures and verbal descriptions of many things such as beanies, ball caps, tee shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, coasters, tank tops, iPhone cases, tote bags, even “onesies” for babies. All bear the No More logo/symbol, the special teal “No More” and O. There are also several products which say “no mas” instead of No More. Clicking on the “view product” button for one of the items takes you to tvp.org where you can make a purchase.
Not so obvious on the No More website is another online store at zazzle.com. There you will find a page called “Shop No More” selling a smaller selection but mostly different items bearing the No More teal logo and No More’s catch phrase about ending domestic violence and sexual assault. The items include cases for iPhone 5 and 6 and Samsung, key chains, mouse pads, magnets, bumper stickers, and a few tee shirts.
At the beginning of the “shop” page at nomore.org, before the pictures of the products for sale, is this statement: “NO MORE directs any profit generated from the sale of NO MORE and NO MÁS products to our partner organizations that provide direct services to survivors as well as preventative and educational services for the communities they serve.”
Questions and more questions, especially about the use of the word “profit.” Who decides which products are sold? Who decides which website sells which product? What is the process for getting an individual item approved for sale? Who manages the process? How are the profits divided? Who does the accounting to keep track of the profits from the sales? What is the name of the individual or organization that “directs” the “profit” to “partner organizations”? Is No More the recipient of the profit before it is directed to a partner organization? Does any individual or organization report the profit to the IRS? Who? Who pays all the “employees” who do all the work, and how are those payments reported to the IRS?
Does Joyful Heart Foundation receive any of the proceeds from sales on No More’s online stores? What is Kate Spade’s role with regard to selling merchandise with the logo it owns?
Who Pays for the No More Website?
The No More website is user friendly, well put together, attractive etc. And there have been a lot of changes to the website this year. That stuff doesn’t come cheap. At the bottom of the home page is this link: “Website by redwall.” Who paid redwall to design the site? Who pays redwall to maintain it? Are payments to redwall tax deductible for someone? For whom? Does No More make the payments? Where does No More get the money to make the payments? Does No More report the redwall expense to the IRS? What is Joyful Heart Foundation’s connection, if it has one, with redwall?
Who Funds No More and Why Do They Do It?
When Moskovitz asked Witt who is paying for No More, Witt responded that it’s supported by the corporations listed on its homepage. After No More revamped its website last month, I emailed them the same question, who are your funders. I got this answer:
NO MORE does not accept donations from the general public. NO MORE directs individual donations and any profit generated from the sale of products in the NO MORE store to partner organizations in the direct service, advocacy and prevention field (see the list of benefiting organizations here).
NO MORE also encourages those working to end domestic violence and sexual assault to use the NO MORE symbol and assets to raise money, generate support, and bring communities together around these issues. Funding for NO MORE comes from corporations and corporate foundations committed to elevating these issues in the public discourse. A full list of funders is available at nomore.org.
When I asked for clarification about where the funders were listed on the website, No More told me this: “Our funders are identified at the bottom of the homepage.” You can see for yourself there’s no conventional list there, but several logos of corporations or corporate foundations are shown.
A press release by one of No More’s “consultants” or “team” about the public launch of No More in March 2013 contains another disclosure about who pays No More’s bills:
Volunteers and financial support from organizations and individuals who care deeply about ending domestic violence and sexual assault, including Allstate Foundation, the AVON Foundation for Women, Fifth & Pacific Foundation, Finn Partners, the Joyful Heart Foundation and the Verizon Foundation helped make the No More symbol a reality.
Note that all of those named bill-payers are organizations listed as members of No More’s executive committee. All but one are foundations. The one exception is Finn Partners, a branding firm at which No More co-founder Anne Glauber is a managing partner.
On the “about” page at its website, No More describes its public service announcement campaign with a few references to who footed the bill:
In September 2013, NO MORE launched its first celebrity public services announcement (PSA) campaign, which was created by the Joyful Heart Foundation (JHF) and Rachel Howald at the global ad agency Young & Rubicam, directed by Mariska Hargitay, President and Founder of JHF and photographed by Timothy White.
In the Summer of 2014, Viacom adapted to the NO MORE PSAs, to feature an array of their own diverse talent from BET, MTV and SPIKE, for the “Viacom Says NO MORE” PSAs, produced by Viacom Velocity, which then aired 5,000 times across 12 Viacom networks.
In October 2014, in an expansion of a long-time partnership with the National Football League (NFL), the NFL began airing NO MORE PSAs during football broadcasts, and 23 current and former players stepped up to participate in the “NFL players Say NO MORE” PSAs which were co-produced by the Joyful Heart Foundation and Viacom Velocity. The spots were directed by Hargitay and fellow actors Blair Underwood and Tate Donovan.
On Feb. 1, 2015, the NFL donated Super Bowl airtime for the first time to elevate domestic violence and sexual assault for more than 100 million viewers with the NO MORE Super Bowl PSA, which was created by the NFL and Grey Advertising.
In March 2015 No More threw a big party at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. The invitation to the event includes a list of sponsors:
The South by Southwest (SXSW) music conference is officially underway in Austin, Texas, and NO MORE is getting in on the action!
Today, March 18, we’re partnering with our friends at the National Domestic Violence Hotline and SafePlace to host #SayNO MORE – a party with a purpose. Presented by DELVE TEXAS, NEWTEK and TIVAMO.COM, the “Say NO MORE” event begins at noon CT and goes until midnight.
Join the live webcast in its entirety at www.tivamo.com/NoMore! Online viewers will have the opportunity to donate to The Hotline and SafePlace while watching the event on TIVAMO.COM.
Of course, every domestic violence and sexual assault awareness organization needs a 12-hour dance party every now and again, I guess. I’ll come back to the SXSW event in my next post. The point this time is that three organizations are credited with presenting the party, but none of the three are mentioned at the place No More told me by email that their funders were identified. Also missing are many of the people mentioned in the press release and website listings quoted above. One more way No More misleadingly picks and chooses what to disclose and how.
The logos/brands of 15 organizations are displayed at the bottom of No More’s home page. These, it says, are its funders. Four of them are in the broadcast business: Viacom, Verizon (actually it’s Verizon’s foundation), USA Network, and Discovery ID Network. Three are affiliated with founders or early organizers of No More: Kimberly Clark (PR executive Christine Mau who inspired the design of No More’s symbol works there), Fifth & Pacific Foundation (formerly run by co-founder Jane Randel), and public relations firm Finn Partners (where co-founder Anne Glauber is a managing partner). Another public relations type listed as a funder is Sterling Brands, the company that designed the No More logo pro bono.
Nowhere on the list is the National Football League, No More’s long-time partner, or the Joyful Heart Foundation, No More’s fiscal sponsor. In my next post I will talk about the conspicuously absent NFL and JHF and some of the other funders, with facts that will surprise and dismay.