Monaco Life is a website that claims to be “the leading source of English language news from Monaco providing you with daily news and events regarding Monaco and The French Riviera”. The company is not registered in Monaco or anywhere else in Europe. It is owned by Sandspring Media Holdings, which, according to the Monaco Life website, is located in New Vernon, New Jersey. The Monaco Life website says Eric Brundage is the owner of Monaco Life and CEO at Sand Spring Partners. Mr Brundage is not a Monaco resident.
The serious issue at hand is that as Monaco Life is not a real news outlet nor a registered company in Monaco (it used to be, but Monaco Life SARL dissolved on October 26, 2018), so what legal action can be taken by victims of defamation to stop Monaco Life from publishing fake news and demand a retraction? Monaco Life published a story on March 14, 2023 titled “Forbes Monaco Folds Five Years After Launch In The Principality”. It was written by the Editor-in-Chief Cassandra Tanti.
While Forbes Monaco did stop publishing in early 2023, the bulk of the article’s facts are incorrect. Forbes Monaco’s former Editor-in-Chief, Nancy Heslin, fact checked the article for us.
In an act of defamation, Monaco Life wrote “Monaco Life has learned that Forbes Monaco halted publication at the start of 2023 due to financial reasons.”
FAKE. Forbes Monaco enjoys one of the highest reputations as a publication in the principality. It is still operating , it is highly profitable and has zero debts. It stopped publishing a magazine due to a disagreement over new licensing terms. To suggest financial reasons are the reason behind the franchise ending smears the company’s reputation. The publishing house reported unprecedented profits with a 5-year growth of over 1000%. Ms Tanti did not reach out to CEO and publisher, to deny, confirm or comment.
Other points fact checked in the Monaco Life article:
“The bi-monthly printed magazine and website forbes.mc was launched in June 2018.”
FAKE. Forbes Monaco’s first magazine was unveiled October 2018 at the yacht club, and the website officially launched just before Covid, Feb. 2020.
“…spearheaded by Editor-in-Chief Paul Trustfull”
FAKE. Paul Trustful did not spearhead Forbes Monaco.
“Local businessman Luiz Macambira then took on the role of Chief Executive Officer and Executive Editor.”
FAKE. Luiz Macambira was not executive editor but publisher. And CEO. (One point for Monaco Life).
“The launch of Forbes Monaco came 101 years after the first copy of the original American version was sold.”
TRUE. But how is this relevant to an article titled “Forbes Monaco Folds Five Years After Launch In The Principality”? No mention that Forbes Media is for sale, seeking $800 million USD, according to the New York Times, and recently entered negotiations with a new buyer. (The Forbes family originally sold shares of Forbes Media LLC in 2014.)
“The website forbes.mc is no longer accessible.”
TRUE. Without agreeing on a license contract it went offline.
“The official Forbes Monaco Instagram page have been renamed Monaco Globe.”
TRUE. The Monaco Globe handle has existed for some time. The company is the process of acquiring other international titles and discontinued its page as Forbes Monaco.
“Forbes Monaco hosted events in the Principality including the Forbes Monaco Art and Crypto Gala in 2021 and the Metaverse and Technology Gala in 2022.”
TRUE. As well as the unprecedented “Forbes Monaco Power Women’s Summit” in December with Cherie Blair at Hotel Hermitage.
“The Forbes franchise currently has over 40 local language editions.”
FAKE. According to Forbes 2023 media kit (accessible online to anyone) Forbes Global has more than 40 franchise editions but in 28 languages.
Forbes Monaco’s former Editor-in-Chief, Nancy Heslin, commented on Monaco Life’s Facebook and Linkedin feed in direct response to the article’s post.
Ms Tanti commented to Ms Heslin’s fact checking post with “It is disappointing to see such a spiteful backlash against a general interest news story which was published to inform...”
Forbes Monaco is a general interest news story but how is a cut and paste article filled with errors informative? And why not take responsibility for your reporting and correct these facts?
All of this begs the question: how is Monaco Life, a commercial “news” website not-registered in Monaco, able to operate at the same level as legitimate locally-registered media who are subject to law and held accountable for misinformation?
If we all played by Monaco Life’s standard of Google copy-paste journalism, what would Monaco Voice “learn”?