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February 14, 2008 11:27am
Steven Hirsch: Yahoo, Google - Protect Kids!
Source: Vivid PR
by: Company Press Release

(NEW HAVEN, CT) -- Steven Hirsch, co-chairman and co-founder of leading adult film studio Vivid Entertainment, plans to tell MBA candidates at the Yale School of Management that Yahoo (NASDAQ:Yhoo) and Google (NASDAQ:Goog) need to erect stronger barriers to keep children from accessing adult material.

Mr. Hirsch plans to make his request in a lecture he is scheduled to give the graduate business school of the Ivy League university on ''Vivid Day'' (Saturday, February 16) during the third biennial Sex Week at Yale (Sway), dedicated to discussions about ''love, sex, intimacy, and relationships.''

''Responsible companies in the adult industry such as ours have done a great deal to deter minors from accessing adult material,'' according to Mr. Hirsch. ''None of the search engines and portals, but particularly Yahoo and Google, has taken any significant steps in this direction. Vivid will work with any company that is ready to make it much more difficult for children to be exposed, even inadvertently, to material intended only for adults. This is not about First Amendment rights, it is about protecting children.''

Mr. Hirsch says that he wants to encourage the major Internet Service Providers to more vigorously promote their filtering and age verification programs to their subscribers so that it will be much more difficult for minors to purchase adult content on the Internet. ''the ISPs, as well as payment systems and adult producers, all need to be more responsible with regard to allowing X-rated material to be obtained by non-adults,'' he noted in his lecture remarks.

''In the end, running the world's biggest adult film studio isn't that much different than running any other studio except that our product is pretty much exclusively about sex,'' according to Mr. Hirsch. ''The truth is, Vivid Entertainment is a business like any other. And my job is concerned as much with cost of goods, margins and Ebitda as it is with trying to come up with the idea for the next 'Debbie does Dallas...Again.' I do interview all of the Vivid Girls personally before we sign them to exclusive contracts. But, guess what? I spend more time trying to talk a new girl OUT of becoming a porn star as I do discussing the deal points of her contract once she's convinced me that she really does want to go down that path.''

Mr. Hirsch says Vivid became the No. 1 adult studio in the world by making a concerted effort to become more accepted by the mainstream media and by capitalizing on advances in technology. ''We always believed it was important to stay on top of all new technologies,'' he says. ''But we were also the first adult studio to sign talent to exclusive contracts; the first to change adult video packaging to make it more appealing to consumers and retailers; the first to really capitalize on the Internet for branding; the first to own a cable TV network; the first to shoot movies in Hi Def and to go after the wireless market in an effective way; the first to diversify with special interest labels such as Vivid-Alt, Vivid-Ed, Vivid-Celeband even Vivid-Plus for those who like to watch women of notable stature; and the first to license our name with a professionally managed program that has included book publishing, comics, condoms, vodka, shoes, apparel and other merchandise. In publishing, 'How to Have a XXX Sex Life' by the Vivid Girls, published by HarperCollins, became a best seller and recently went into paperback.''

The adult industry faces enormous challenges in the years ahead but Vivid's plan is to continue to thrive and he described the company's plans for the future, including ''strong cross-over marketing such as billboards in Times Square and other high-traffic areas, aggressive promotional programs, licensing deals that promote our name while also making us money, protecting our intellectual property and staying ahead of the pack by seizing new technologies,'' according to Mr. Hirsch. Other elements of the company's future success will include ''more aggressive and clever use of the Internet.''

A press release from the organizers of Sway described the event by saying, ''On Yale's storied campus, populated by some of the brightest young men and women on the planet, many students still haven't figured out how to ask someone on a date. Others might even believe that coitusinterruptus is a form of safe sex. This February, however, Sex Week at Yale comes to the rescue!''

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