Gay discount card plan folds as debts escalate

Freedom Privilege, a discount card and voucher scheme aimed at raising up to 1.2m a year for the gay community, has collapsed following the liquidation of its debt-laden operating company.

The Freedom Festival Company, which had projected sales of between 100,000 and 300,000 for its discount cards, officially ceased trading on June 25.

The company, which admits it cannot cover all its liabilities, told creditors earlier last month that it had experienced a “very difficult trading period” (MW June 19), but said that it expected to secure a “major source of revenue” in July to rescue its fortunes.

Company director and head of marketing David Williams-Casey could not be contacted this week at the company’s offices. But a company statement blames unidentified individuals who had “spread ru-mours about the financial stability of the company” for its failure to secure further financing.

It remains unclear how many customers joined the scheme, which offered free and discounted subscriptions to people with HIV who were also claiming benefit.

The company was charging a top rate of 45 for its Platinum card, offering a range of discounts at retailers including HMV, Interflora, Pizza Hut and TGI Friday. It had offered to give 50 per cent of profits to charity to promote the card scheme.

Kevin Waite, director of rival non-profit scheme Positive Discount, which also markets a discount scheme aimed specifically at people with HIV, says: “They were simply not able to come up with the goods and people weren’t interested in what they were offering.”

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