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XXX Wasteland Exclusive Interview: Pink Visual President Allison Vivas

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Pink Visual President Allison Vivas kindly spoke with XXX Wasteland recently to discuss her recent recognition by global forum BigThink.com, the importance of modern technology to PV’s overall market plan, and more.

(Special thanks to Quentin Boyer of Pink Visual for arranging the interview)

First off, I wanted to congratulate you, as I understand you were recently recognized on the online global forum BigThink.com (“10 Top Women in Male Dominated Fields”).

Yes, that was a surprise. (Laughs)

How did you feel when you first heard the news?

Well, somebody sent me the link, and I actually responded, “Is this for real?” I thought it was a joke. I went to the website and started looking to see if there was an insert-your-friends-into-a-news-article type of web scheme going on. And they’re like, “No, it’s for real.” So, it was kind of interesting. I guess the writer must have been a fan, so that’s good to know.

It’s great that more of the global or mainstream news sources are gradually becoming willing to acknowledge members of the adult industry. Can you tell us a little bit about your own background and how you came to work in adult entertainment?

I’ve been with (Pink Visual) now for nine-and-a-half years. I basically started right out of college with a degree in Spanish Linguistics and a minor in Business. Throughout college, I had a lot of interest in working for an Internet company. I was doing webmastering for different departments and professors in college and I really had my mind set on working for an online company. I was applying for different jobs and ran into one that was talking about online affiliate marketing. I got a response stating that it was an adult entertainment affiliate company and how they were set up. I decided to go ahead and try the interview, and I was hired on the spot as a marketing coordinator. The marketing coordinator is responsible for the online affiliate side of the business. That’s really how (Pink Visual) got our start in the business – really relying on affiliates and event coordinating. That gradually progressed into overseeing some of the sales aspects of the business and new projects. So, I went from marketing to Sales Director to business development, and – when it was mostly just operations – the Vice President, and I’ve been the President for about three years now. So, now it’s kind of all aspects, and during that time we’ve gotten into DVD, broadcasting, and other things. And, of course, we have a more well-known consumer brand. When I started, we didn’t have a consumer brand that was an umbrella for all of our websites – our individual websites were the brands. (Pink Visual) is now our umbrella brand and we didn’t have that until 2004.

You were named Entrepreneur of the Year by Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future group in 2009, but the award was later rescinded. Can you tell us about that?

(Laughs) Yeah, that was another one where I thought it was a joke, spammy, or unsolicited. My perception is that they look up corporate documents or have some other means of trying to figure out who might be able to pay five thousand dollars for a table or seat that supports Newt Gingrich and then probably decide to go ahead and give you an honor of being named Entrepreneur of the Year. So, they did their research – or lack of research – and through that process named me without understanding what I actually do. So, that is probably what happened, and of course, our marketing department wanted to roll with it. So, we rolled with it, and it was interesting – and it was interesting how quickly they rescinded it.

So, it was after they discovered that you worked for an adult entertainment company that they rescinded the award?

Yes.

And if they had actually gone ahead and presented you with the award, you would have been required to pay five thousand dollars to attend the dinner?

Yes, it was something like fifteen hundred or five thousand dollars – pretty hefty.

Oh, wow.

You were getting an award in order to support them, but it just kind of reflected on their conservative values and how maybe they are more focused around the financial aspect than really inviting people that support their core values.

(Laughs) It certainly sounds that way. The adult industry has obviously been hit hard by things such as online piracy in recent years, and I suppose it is a different business now than it was even a decade ago. As the President of a prominent adult film company, I wanted to ask you some of the ways Pink Visual attempts to combat the newer challenges facing the industry today.

Well, first I’ll make a note that we’ve tried a lot of things throughout the years to combat the trends impacting the industry today, including piracy. But, the first thing we found was most effective was actually coming from more of a position of empowerment. Stop blaming everything on these external factors. Come out with a different approach of, “Here’s what we are going to do and here’s why it’s going to be effective.” From there, we are really focusing on the markets that are emerging. The mobile market for us is huge, whether it’s mobile phones or tablet devices. More and more people are getting iPhone-like devices and browsing on the Internet. That’s a market that we’re really, really involved in. We also just did our Google TV PinkVisual.tv website. We’re going to keep an eye on that market, because it has potential – it basically makes sense to us. We’re not going to invest hundreds of man hours or a lot of money until we see some growth in that area, but it’s something we’re keeping an eye on. And there definitely is a market amongst the piracy, (even if) it’s trying to figure out how to get these end users to want to pay something. This week, we decided to reach out to end users on some of the piracy sites on their forums and get their feedback. And, we were pretty surprised to see how much feedback they were willing to provide. That can help us in developing projects which will appeal to that market. It’s not just a market that wants everything for free – it’s a market that wants things to be fast, accessible, and convenient. So, basically building something around that.

Yes, I’ve noticed that Pink Visual is often at the forefront in regard to applying new technology within the adult industry. I believe there was something iPhone-related that the company introduced recently also.

Yes, we did 3D on the iPhone and we’re also doing augmented reality. We started playing with that a year ago, but we’ve figured out some ways to make it a little bit more applicable to what our customers would want. Not something that would change our business model, but something that would give our customers more value for what they get by being a member of one of our sites.

As a top company executive, I wanted to get your perspective of the recent HIV scare within the adult entertainment business. I saw your appearance on CNBC during the height of the situation …

(Laughs) You’re like a stalker!

(Laughs) Oh, yes – I definitely try and do as much research as possible when interviewing.

(Laughs)

Most companies have resumed production and thankfully it appears that nobody else was infected, which is obviously the most important thing above all else. I wanted to ask if there have been any long-term ramifications from that period or if everything has essentially returned to normal.

I think right now everything is pretty much back to normal, and I guess I’m kind of disappointed in that, because I think it provides an opportunity for companies and performers to create a forum to start discussing things. I would love to see a performer take the lead and say, “This is what we want” and “We do want to perform without condoms, but these are the other things that we want.” We want to have agreements amongst performers that they are practicing safe sex outside the business. Maybe decrease the length of time between tests – everybody agrees it should be two weeks instead of one month. I think having a productive, constructive conversation led by someone would be a great result from all of this. And there’s the trade show coming up, so maybe that is an opportunity for somebody to take the lead. I would say a performer taking the lead would be a great way – all the performers who have an interest in that would be the best, because they are the closest to the situation. My company or any company … we’re so distant from the issue that we probably wouldn’t be able to make the best recommendations for everybody.

We spoke earlier about your BigThink.com recognition and there are obviously more females occupying executive-level positions in adult entertainment than in the past. But, as a woman in what is likely still perceived by most as a male-oriented industry, do you feel there are some instances where you are able to offer a unique approach or mindset to a certain situation?

I think somewhat. My approach, because I’m not really a porn consumer, is that it’s mostly about the business and not about personal desires or things that can get in the way of business decisions. And not to necessarily say that a man doesn’t have this, but there is a level of compassion I have towards our employees – the people who work to make our content – and performers. It’s maybe not as cut-throat. So, I’m on both sides – I can do the business side, but I also have a level of compassion and fairness. And I think that’s better for a long-term solution, where karma can come back and bite you in the butt.

In closing, are there any upcoming projects involving Pink Visual that you would like to mention?

We’re continuing in different markets and seeing what involvement we can have in those new markets. I think one is this consumer who is not used to paying for porn and how we can monetize that. So, that’s our big thing, and hopefully we’ll have some foundation on that by January 2011. I don’t know if you’re going to be at the Adult Entertainment Expo, but I welcome you to come by, because we’re doing it pretty creatively this year.

Excellent – sounds great. Thanks very much, I appreciate your time and all the best to you and Pink Visual in the future.

Thank you, same to you.

Written by Adam Wilcox

November 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Interviews

2 Responses

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  1. […] display certainly sounded revolutionary when I first read about it. I actually interviewed Allison (Vivas, President of Pink Visual) a couple of months before AEE and she mentioned that the studio had something very creative planned […]


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