This past Saturday, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas hosted the 30th annual Adult Video News Awards, a little modest event sponsored by True Love Waits. James Deen, the Promise Keeper next door teetering on the verge of crossover stardom for his upcoming role co-starring with Lindsay Lohan in The Canyons, won Best Male Performer. A delicate flower named Asa Akira brought home Best Female Performer. Lee Roy Meyers, the Saturday-morning cartoonist behind SpongeKnob SquareNuts, did not win Best Director—that honor went to Axel Braun, the Sunday-school teacher responsible for such nursery rhymes as Euro Nymphs and Boy Meats Girl (1 and 2).
How eager is AdBrite founder Philip Kaplan to get into the porn-ads business? So eager that he's counting the seconds. On AVNAds.com, the relaunch site for AdBrite's partnership with porn-trade publisher AVN, there's a splash page announcing the move to Black Label Ads, a new website wholly owned and operated by AdBrite, in less than two days. We hear that making a clean break with AVN — without the acrimony of past attempts to split up — was a requirement before Sequoia Capital and other investors put in their latest investment, a $23 million financing round for the online ad network. Not that investors have entirely quelled their concerns about AdBrite being in the porn business. The new site, Black Label Ads, attempts to disguise the AdBrite connection — except in its legal agreements.
AVN, the porn-industry trade publisher, has at last split with longtime partner AdBrite, which ran an AVN-branded online ad network for adult websites. A new network, run solely by AVN, will launch on December 1. We first noticed the relationship was on the rocks when AVN yanked the AdBrite-run AVNads.com website offline and threw up a hastily built, barely functional site of its own back in August. AdBrite then briefed porn publishers about plans for its own porn-ad network, BlackLabelAds, which was supposed to launch in September, but never did. The two partners patched things up, restoring AdBrite's site. One small problem for AVN, though.
Philip Kaplan seems to have patched things up with AVN, the porn-industry trade publisher with which his company, AdBrite, runs an online ad network for adult websites. Earlier this month, AVN had abruptly yanked the AdBrite-run version of AVNAds.com offline and replaced it with its own hastily-built site for selling ads. In response, insiders said, Kaplan was readying to launch BlackLabelAds.com, AdBrite's own porn-ad network. Now, however, the AdBrite-run version of the network is back online. The spat however, came with a heavy financial price.
AdBrite is rebounding fast from the loss of its porn-ads partnership with AVN, the prominent publisher of news and information about the adult-film industry. While AVN appears to have taken back control of AVNAds.com, a website previously operated by AdBrite to market a network of independent porn sites to advertisers and publishers, AdBrite is moving ahead with plans for its own network, BlackLabelAds.com. According to publishers briefed by AdBrite, the new network, although it currently points to AVNAds.com, is scheduled to launch on September 1.
When you talk about "the Valley" in tech, it's taken for granted that you mean Silicon Valley. But in the world of porn, "the Valley" is the San Fernando Valley, where the adult-film industry has established itself. Now, as porn goes online, there's a long, drawn-out war for dominance fought by the two valleys. And a tremendous battle has just been lost — by AdBrite, the online-advertising network based in San Francisco. AdBrite, Valleywag has learned, has lost the partner that gave it an entrée into the business of selling porn ads.