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Thoughts Over the Morning’s Coffee: The Liz Claman Calamity

I love the English language. It contains such colorful words as canard, poppycock, hornswaggle, bushwah, falderal, jabberwocky, gobbledegook, malarkey and mumbo jumbo to describe liars, bullshit artists and those who would dispense manure of the farm animal variety.

Like Fox Business News. Yesterday Liz Claman of that organization did an every hour on the hour report about the adult industry in which she threw out a lot of jaw dropping hokum.

Anyone who’s got a remote idea of how the adult business operates these days, knows that those figures are loaded with Seka math. My colleague Sean in Illinois, who does the weekly wrap-up, first coined that term when Seka mis-characterized the popularity of her website with figures that hardly supported its dismal Alexa ranking. From then on, any wild, unsupportable claim in the AdultFYI jargon hence became Seka math.

In 2002 Forbes similarly took AVN to the woodshed over the hocus-pocus AVN kept spouting to insist the adult business was way beyond professional sports in its revenue appeal.

Things haven’t changed much. However, if you want to get an idea of how Fox really tripped up in its long division, it claimed the industry was up a whopping 13% over the year previous and was taking in between $8 to $13B annually.

All you have to do is go to the figure it cites for adult store revenue for 2012: $253.6M and begin asking questions. I assume Fox meant $253M was the total revenue among stores because no single adult store in the land is making that much a year, otherwise we’d all be selling dildos and ass tapes out our front doors.

The next figure says it all. Fox tells us there are 3,458 stores in the US carrying adult. Where it got that exact number must be from some Google aerial spy satellite, but the point is Fox in the same breath says the number of stores have increased 13.8%.

Last time I checked, the number of adult stores was somewhere around 25,000 and over so the fact that 22,000 stores have gone by the wayside is a better indication of where adult’s been going this last decade.

Now, if you were to take that $253 million and divide it by those 3,458 stores you get a figure of $70,271 annual revenue per store give or take. Hardly what I’d call worth it to turn the lights on.

Then, in its next figure, Fox says store profit was $23.3M. Again I assume that’s for all stores because it’s sheer bunkum to believe adult stores were becoming the US Mint. Divided among 3,458 stores that $23.3M figure rounded off becomes something like $6650 per store.

Yeah, I’m scratching my head, too. I don’t get it. But, if I’m wrong, I want Claman and Fox to show me those stores they claim have a license to print money. I’m sure the IRS would like to be aware of them as well.


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