Thursday, January 24, 2013

YOU'RE BANNED from PMA continued

image from
Rob Willock's detailed reasoning for banning me from the pub trade's only publication.


Dear Mark,

I had not responded to your email because I am on holiday. (for what it's worth this is a porky. When I emailed his out of office auto said he was away until the afternoon and he was, in any case, corresponding with other people that day).

However, since you are so keen for an answer, here it is.

You have recently repeated insinuations on our forum, your blog and Twitter accound that that the PMA is in the pocket of the pubcos: "This is not journalism, it's advertorialism."

And your attack on our contributor Pete Brown was frankly unpleasant: "More Bollocks from a Beer Blogger."

The published terms and conditions of our forum include: "Not to post defamatory, abusive, offensive, racist, sexist, threatening, vulgar, obscene, hateful or otherwise inappropriate comments, or to post comments which will constitute a criminal offence or give rise to civil liability."

You've managed both defamatory and offensive - so we have decided to remove you from the forum.

Yours sincerely,

Rob Willock

image from

21 January 2013

Dear Mr Willock and Mr Berry

Please refer to my email below which you received on 19 January... neither of you has responded.

This is the third time I have asked why you have banned me from posting on the Publican's Morning Advertiser forum, the rules of which have not been breached by any of my contributions as an informed member of the licensed pub sector. I can only assume there will be a simple reason for your oversight in not replying, even as a basic courtesy.

I look forward to your reasoning, please do not ignore me again.

With best wishes


J Mark Dodds FRSA
07768 096 761


20 January 2013

Dear Publicans' Morning Advertiser Editors

Rob and Mike,

You have not yet explained why you blocked me from commenting on your esteemed publication, even though I asked well over 24 hours ago.

Mr Berry's email states 'If you insist on breaking forum rules then I'm afraid you have left us with no choice' but to disable your account. As I have not insisted on breaking forum rules, nor intentionally broken them with any of my contributions, I am at a loss as to why you did this yesterday.

It seems especially odd that you did this when today you published a piece about me and the pub I had a lease on for sixteen years on the PMA front page. It seems very odd. By the way, I see you used a photograph of me which I supplied your publication to illustrate a piece about the Fair Pint Campaign. You have not credited me with being the copyright holder. This oversight surely falls far beneath your normally exceptionally high journalistic standards.

So now, I ask again: Please indicate which rule(s) I have insisted on breaking, or have actually broken - just to ease the confused mind of a poor, bankrupted former tied lessee and (homeless) Camberwell and Peckham resident.

Best wishes

J Mark Dodds

23 January 2013

Dear Mr Dodds,

I refer you to my e-mail of 19 December, receipt of which you have previously acknowledged, which set out the reasons for your exclusion from the forum.

Whether or not you agree with those reasons, we will not be entering into further correspondence on the matter, as per our forum T&Cs.

Yours sincerely,

Rob Willock

Group Editor

The Publican’s Morning Advertiser

and M&C Report

t: 01293 610295

m: 0777 617 2004


23 January 2103


Thank you for your response.

Please confirm or otherwise that you have also banned my Fair Pint colleague Steve Corbett from posting on your publication's forum?

I look forward to hearing from you.


HERE is some earlier correspondence with Willock, before he got really touchy and lost the plot. He didn't read as if he'd had dinner with Simon Townsend at this point in December. a fortnight or so into the job.


Dear Mark,

I’d be grateful if you could give me an update on the discussions taking place on the Licensees Supporting Licensees Facebook group that I see you are an administrator of.

It has been brought to my attention that there have been some rather conspiratorial and potentially libellous comments on the forum concerning the PMA’s “relationship with Enterprise” – and I’d like to ensure I have an opportunity to address the claims being made.

Perhaps you would approve my temporary membership of the group?

Many thanks,

Rob Willock

Group Editor


Dear Rob

Thanks for your note.

I'll give it consideration and get back to you soon.

Best wishes



Thanks Mark

BTW – the APPSTP event story is page 1 in the PMA on Thursday and will be the lead story on the website, before too many conspiracies take flight.

We thought interested parties might prefer the higher profile of a print/web excusive, rather than running it online first and thus watering down the impact of the magazine story. Our weekly frequency sometimes means it can feel like a long time for a story to break – but that’s the nature of our publishing cycle.

We are certainly not, as you have just suggested to Mike Berry “completely ignoring the most pressing and important issues facing the tied pub sector”. And there is no embargo, or deal with pubcos or any such restriction on our freedom to report what we see fit.

And regarding your concerns about our forum threads, I will repeat to you what I said to Simon Clarke this morning…

We do not remove any posts because of their subject matter. We will remove posts (and ultimately bar users) when they misbehave on the forum – for being abusive, or hijacking threads with inappropriate or irrelevant comments – not for their ‘politics’. No one has more freedoms than anyone else, and both sides of the tie debate seem to give as good as they get.

But if people can’t make their point without getting into unseemly slanging matches and personal comments, then they have no place on what is meant to be a sensible business forum discussing a wide range of pub industry topics.

I hope that reassures you.


Tumbleweed ...

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