Peterborough TV shopping channel boss launches investigation into 'insulting' word puzzle
The boss of a TV shopping channel in Peterborough has launched an investigation after an obscene word seemingly appeared in a puzzle in a company magazine.
Jamie Martin, the chief executive of Ideal Shopping Direct, based in Newark Road, says the appearance of the four letter word in a Create & Craft Magazine is a publishing error.
And he has refuted suggestions that the word's appearance is a coded insult to a rival company.
He said: "It is a complete mistake by the publishers of the magazine and a thorough investigation has been launched to find out how this happened.
"We will take action to ensure this does not happen again.
"An apology has also been issued."
Mr Martin was appointed chief executive of Ideal Shopping Direct last December but prior to that had been chief executive of the newly created shopping channel Hochanda, which had been set up by Peterborough entrepreneurs Paul Wright and Val Kaye.
It has been reported that the appearance of the four letter word alongside the letters VK right in the middle of the wordsearch puzzle is an insult aimed the Hochanda founders.
Mr Martin said: "It is complete nonsense.
"There is no rivalry between the two companies. There is plenty of room in the craft market for us both.
"I think Hochanda is a fantastic company and I wish them every success.
"I still own 10 per cent of Hochanda and my shares in the company are worth £2.7 million.
"Paul and Kaye are lifelong friends and I like them immensely. I have learnt a lot from them and they have inspired me."
Ideal Shopping Direct, which was founded Paul Wright and Val Kaye who sold it in 2011 for £80 million, is the fifth largest employer in Peterborough with 680 staff.
Over the last few years it has seen profits drop and has undergone three acquisitions by private equity companies in the last eight years. Its current owners are pan-European asset managers Aurelius, which bought the business in July last year.
Mr Martin said: "Since my appointment to Ideal Shopping Direct I have turned the company around, I have secured all the jobs and we are on course to make significant profits for 2019."