<I>Adult Stars Magazine</i> Editor Explains Cancellation of Consumer Choice Awards

[Ed. note: The following is an unedited open letter from Adult Stars Magazine Editor Don Benn regarding the cancellation of the 2003 Consumer Choice Awards Show]

Shit happens! Hopefully, more times than not, when "shit" happens we hope it's good "shit" that is happening. Regretfully, the "shit" which resulted in the abrupt cancellation of the upcoming "2003 CONSUMERS CHOICE AWARDS SHOW" was not (I repeat, "not") of the good variety.

Funny (not the "ha-ha" kind but the scratch your head and wonder why kind), but (at least) on paper, this show should have (and could have and would have) been one heck of a hell of a party. Hell, it had the makings of being the blast of the century. Sponsored by two of the biggest "A's" in the business (Adult Stars Magazine and Adult Video News) it packed the one-two punch of being able to grab (both) the eyes and ears of the industry as well as the hearts and minds of the consumers.

The selected venue (the historic Hollywood Palace) could not have been better. The actual production team headed up by AVN's Garry Miller (whose prestigious party producing pedigree stands unequaled) the night had been designed to be part bacchanal, part bachelor party, and all fun! Pulling more strings than a product tester at a tampon factory the show had obtained the services of uber-beauty Jessica Drake and handsome hunk Evan Stone to act as mistress and master of ceremonies. A true dream team if ever a dream team was drempt!

And let's not forget about the awards themselves - unlike the mandatory mega-multi-dozens sandwiched into the annual AVN January show, this one would have a mere fourteen, all of which would represent what was important to the fans rather than the industry. Best legs, best breasts (both natural and not so natural), prettiest pussy, and world-class ass (to name just a few) were designed to promote maximum (s) mileage from the fans.

With AVN handling promotion within the industry (as well as local LA adult venues) and ASM taking care of websites, fan clubs, chat-rooms, and Yahoo groups word of the show and voting spread faster and wider than a porn stars' legs. From the moment that voting went up at the official polling place - www.adultawardsshow.com - the site was jam-packed with hundreds (and often thousands) of fans visiting and voting on a daily basis (oh, if only we had been selling advertising space).

During the May preliminary nominations period more than 14,000 ballots were cast. Granted, a certain percentage of ballots made no friggin sense (and my father would be the first one to tell you why my mom would not qualify for favorite fellatio girl) but in the end an impressive list of over fifty (50) fan-favorites spread over 14 categories was established.

And what a list it was! It contained some of the biggest names in the industry (like Jenna Jameson, Tera Patrick, Asia Carrera, and Devon to name just a few). It contained living legends (like Ron Jeremy and Nina Hartley). It contained the names of more than just a few always working and on the brink of super-stardom (like Belladonna, Bisexual Britni, Aurora Snow, Sunset Thomas, and Carmen Luvana). It even contained the name of one gal who hasn't made a film in years - Rocki Roads (talk about your memory for mammary). But most of all, it just contained fan favorites who might never be superstars or contract girlsbut are just plain out loved (or at least lusted after).

So why was the show canceled? Some people (none of whom know what the heck they are talking about) claim that the show was canceled due to "soft" (or, as it's known around here - Dons' dick-like) ticket sales. Granted, if the event had been half-sold by yesterday the show would (most likely) not have been canceled. But this was an event in which pre-sales was a courtesy and a walk-up sell out was expected - so "soft" sales were not the reason.

Other individuals (a few, but certainly not many of whom do know what the heck they are talking about) have theorized that conflicting business dynamics between ASM and AVN (both) existed and could not be resolved (and as such destroyed the show). Hey - I am not going to stand here (actually I'm sitting and typing) and tell you that the personalities and/or business practices of our two companies were a match made in heaven. But make no mistake about this - as per this show - the goals of AVN and ASM were exactly the same - to provide the fans with a show worth attending, to provide the performers with a show worth supporting, and to provide adult entertainment historians with a show worth remembering (for all the right reasons).

On Monday morning June 2, 2003 (after five weeks of intensive and expensive efforts) the principals of Adult Stars Magazine and Adult Video News jointly decided that (unlike the army's unfilled promise to me) this show was not going to be "all that it could be" and in the best interests of the consumers, the performers, the producers, and (yes) even ourselves regrettably and regretfully opted to "pull the plug".

Sometimes (and this was one of those times) the whole of something was not equal to the sum of its parts. Neither ASM nor AVN would have felt comfortable presenting an event, which would have been anything less than wonderfuland as such, could not and would not in all good conscience continue with the production or promotion of this show.

Our sincere apologies go to everyone who worked so hard to make this event a success. And, to the fans, without which none of us would be here - both ASM and AVN say thank you and promise that we will never place out names on any product or event, which is anything less than wonderful.

Don Benn
Adult Stars Magazine