Two publishers in Mexico City are fighting over the rights associated with an established plastics trade magazine.
The disagreement is between a family-owned publisher and a former employee — and ex-romantic partner of one of the original magazine's three co-founders.
Both sides are currently publishing magazines, one under the title Mundo Plástico (Plastics World), which launched in 2003, and the other called MP.
MP's first issue, a trade directory, appeared in February, bearing a resemblance to the older magazine in its size, style and typography. The cover had a strap line saying it was the magazine's 13th year, issue No. 82.
Mundo Plástico's own directory, published in January, also was No. 82.
The confusion is complicated by business and family relationships. Mundo Plástico was founded in 2003 by Sofía Elorza, her husband, Francisco Barrón, and her sister Ana Cecilia Elorza.
Sergio Lamanna, MP's publisher, had a lengthy romance with Ana Cecilia Elorza, according to her sister Sofía, and is the former general manager of Mundo Plástico.
Both sides are now in court. Lamanna claims he was wrongfully dismissed from Mundo Plástico in 2016. Mundo Plástico's publisher, Editorial FASS S.C., claims Lamanna has made unauthorized use of FASS's plastics magazine brand and several other titles.
The dispute became public at the recent Plastimagen trade show in Mexico City. Both magazines claimed to have support from Mexico's leading plastics association, Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico A.C. (Anipac).
But Anipac has now withdrawn permission for Mundo Plástico to call itself the group's "official magazine." Anipac President Juan Antonio Hernández and Managing Director Raúl Mendoza Tapia used to be on the magazine's editorial board.
"We launched Mundo Plástico in 2003 and I calculate that from 2004 onwards we were Anipac's official magazine," Sofía Elorza, FASS's managing director, wrote in an email to Plastics News.
Lamanna did not respond to questions for this story.
MP had a booth at Plastimagen, but Mundo Plástico did not. The show organizer, E.J. Krauss Tarsus, "has decided to suspend all advertisements and exchanges [with Mundo Plástico] until we have clarity in this litigation," wrote Arturo Morales de la Campa, EJK's marketing, public relations and communications manager.
Sofía Elorza said the federal attorney general's office called the two parties to a hearing in early April to try to resolve the dispute.
"But we couldn't reach an agreement during the talks," she said.
MP has published three issues since February.