The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement and Investor Protection Department has revoked the registration of Clear Channel Outdoor Asia Corp. for misrepresentation and offering unregistered securities to the public.
The SEC also fined the company and each of its three incorporators P1 million each.
Clear Channel, located at High Street South Corp. Plaza Tower 2, in Bonifacio Global City, lists its incorporators as Ruvilyn Amores Madera of Valenzuela City, Adonis Dampitan Gandoza of Cavite City, and Virginia Madera Amores of BF Homes Paranaque.
The company’s primary business is advertising and related services, and its articles of incorporation include specific provisions prohibiting soliciting, accepting, or taking investments or placements.
The SEC EIPD received information that CCO Media/CCO Media Philippines has been promising huge profits.
In addition to numerous emails, the SEC EIPD received a letter of complaint from Quisumbing Torres on September 6, 2023, representing Clear Channel USA, inquiring about CCO Media/CCO Media Philippines and reporting its investment-taking activities.
CCO Media offered investment products it calls ‘original equity funds,’ costing P200 to P1 million, promising daily returns of 3% to 50%, depending on the amount invested. Quisumbing Torres also discovered the misappropriation by CCO Media of Clear Channel USA’s trademarks and other intellectual property rights, misrepresenting itself and its clothing products as Clear Channel USA, leading to complaints filed with the NBI
Intellectual Property Rights Division on the issue.
A news report on September 4 said the NBI raided CCO Media Philippines in Taguig for tradename and trademark infringements.
The SEC EIPD conducted its own investigation and went to the Taguig office, finding it padlocked. CCO Media was issued a show-cause order on September 19, 2023, for violating the Securities Regulation Code, specifically for selling unregistered securities.
Gandoza denied being an incorporator and denied knowledge of its operations.
The company, meanwhile, did not respond to the show-cause order, which was construed as a waiver of its right to be heard.
The SEC EIPD ruled that CCO Media enters into an investment contract, and investors expect returns. It added that CCO Media has no authority to solicit investments from the public and does not have the required secondary license from the SEC to do so.