There are certain themes we hear over and over in our communications with members. They generally say they benefit from our ongoing “2257” litigation, the challenge of Utah’s Child Protection Registry anti-spam law, our various publications, as well as lobbying efforts and the information contained on our website. Members generally view FSC as the organization whose responsibility it is to hold government accountable, whether through proactive efforts such as public education and lobbying, or after-the-fact through constitutional or other challenges to legislation through litigation.
In the past 18 months or so, due in large part to our success with litigation, FSC has grown exponentially. We have exploded from approximately 600 members in early 2005 to now nearly 3,500 as we round the bend into 2007! This rapid growth has had its good and sometimes challenging consequences. Member needs and litigation expenses have expanded several-fold with that growth while FSC staffing levels and our annual operating budget have remained fairly static. This means that all FSC staffers are stretched to their realistic limit. Despite that reality, members continue to receive all of the services we promise through membership and we are delighted to introduce several new ones.
Let’s glance back at the past 18 months and the many services members receive:
Publications and Information
Members receive an electronic newsletter each Friday called the Free Speech X-Press. This interesting and up-to-date e-document keeps members informed about legislative issues around the country as well as giving members up-to-the-moment updates about FSC’s own litigation. It also provides members with researched recaps and brief analyses of important arrests by law enforcement and/or criminal charges that have been brought against industry notables, as those trends emerge. Researched, written and published by Layne Winklebleck of our Legislative Affairs Office, it is a one-stop update provided as a service to members and key supporters of Free Speech Coalition.
The Free Speaker is FSC’s glossy, full-color magazine, updating members with in-depth feature stories affecting our industry. Contributing authors come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, including legal, legislative, educational, political and a host of other professions. The Free Speaker also provides an opportunity for FSC to introduce consumers and trade professionals to the important work of the organization and inform them of our mission during trade shows and other public events.
In 2006, the Free Speech Coalition built and launched a new website designed to provide members with direct access to articles, archived Free Speakers and X-Press newsletters, media information and press releases, updates about 18 U.S.C. 2257 and other litigation, links to other important sites, stories from mainstream and adult entertainment media to keep members informed, a case law library, etc. It also provides a direct opportunity for visitors to the site to become new members and for current members to renew online. While there have been several technical and/or design challenges since its launch, the new site is a leap forward in technology and we are confident it will continue to improve throughout 2007 and beyond.
One of the valuable member educational tools available on the FSC website is a monthly report of 50-state and US federal legislative tracking, produced through the Legislative Affairs Department. Organized by states, the report gives regularly updated information on bills that have been introduced in statehouses around the nation, their status in the legislative process and other information which empowers members to take action at the local or state level to defeat negative laws before they can be passed.
FSC conducts several public education activities designed to bring the industry’s real messages into the mainstream without stigma or right-wing overtones. Long-term events include the annual Celebrate Free Speech Lobbying Days in Sacramento, CA, coming into its tenth year in 2007 and coordinated by Kat Sunlove, FSC’s Director of Legislative Affairs. Other regular educational functions include informative membership meetings, legal seminars at trade shows, providing knowledgeable speakers at professional and industry conferences and the preparation and presentation of expert written testimony before Congress, reports which are then posted on the FSC website for member perusal.
In 2006, FSC sent staff and partner representatives to New Zealand in order to address the .XXX domain issue of ICANN during its deliberations. Through those combined efforts, ICANN for the time being decided not to require adult entertainment websites to become marginalized into an online “ghetto” of .XXX web addresses and domains.
More recently, FSC department directors, Kat Sunlove and Scott L. Lowther, coordinated FSC’s involvement in a nationwide initiative called National Freedom of Speech Week, sponsored by The Media Institute. FSC published a press release on the event which received broad distribution within the adult media, the agency encouraged local action by its members and Ms. Sunlove appeared on a syndicated radio talk show on YNOT.com, among other things. This partnership consisted of several national groups, including the American Bar Association, American Society of Newspaper Editors, the National Coalition Against Censorship and the Recording Industry Association of America, among other significant mainstream groups. As a result, FSC and the adult entertainment industry it represents were featured in press coverage nationwide as a legitimate partner in this nationwide effort to draw attention to the importance of free speech.
The Free Speech Coalition continues to have a strong presence at national trade shows in order to educate consumers about the issues facing the industry. Many consumers are transitioning now into grassroots organizers as FSC plans to begin organizing and launching state chapters in key locations in 2007.
Customized Services for FSC members
For 2006, FSC began to develop a new customer service approach in order to better serve you, our valued members. We are making a concerted effort to address the very diverse needs of our membership which are reflected in part by a wide range of industry segments, different types of companies, broad geographic distribution, various roles within the industry, etc. For example, talent members have very different needs from video distributors which are different from members who exclusively own or operate websites or video-on-demand sites which in turn may be different from novelty manufacturers and mail-order companies. As the industry grows and changes, FSC must grow and change with it. We are equal to the challenge.
Commonly asked questions can be reviewed directly by members on our website through our Frequently-Asked-Questions section. And, FSC staff answers questions or make direct referrals to other professionals who can be of assistance in meeting member needs.
FSC as Adult Entertainment Industry Trade Organization
FSC is on the brink of adding several new and exciting projects that demonstrate our commitment to our members as we continue to evolve into a full-service trade organization. Many programs have been commenced in 2006 and will carry over into 2007 and beyond.
For example, the FSC will soon vote on the adoption of a proposed Industry Code of Ethics/Best Practices, which was developed in consultation with industry experts and FSC members. We expect to begin working in key states to develop grassroots lobbying groups to defeat anti-industry legislation before it begins. New national partnerships are also underway so we can marshal our limited resources into effective outcomes.
We’re also very excited to introduce several, new ‘value added’ membership benefits for members, beginning in January, 2007. FSC’s dues are extremely low compared to other trade organizations, most of which are not embroiled in ongoing, extremely costly litigation against the government. That notwithstanding, we are committed to providing even more value to our membership.
New Value-Added Membership Benefits for 2007
It is my great pleasure to announce three new value-added benefits for all FSC members for 2007. We will gradually add more useful programs as we identify your needs and find new partner companies to meet those needs.
Bellenjoy Software – Through an agreement between FSC Board member, Sid Grief of AAA News in Austin, Texas, and FSC, all FSC members will be given free access to the new Bellenjoy custom-created software. Essentially, this software provides an industry-wide solution for distribution of multimedia marketing materials from manufactures to distributors, retailers, and webmasters in real-time to facilitate sales in advance of street date.
PLAN B INVESTMENTS, INC. – FSC has formed a new partnership with the owner of Plan B Investments, Inc. (PBII), Martin P. O’Malley, Jr., for PBII to provide retirement planning and investment consulting to FSC members. The usual initial consultation fee of $150 per hour will be waived for FSC members-in-good-standing.
PBII is an LA-based Registered Investment Advisor (Member FINRA, SPIC) and Mr. O’Malley has been closely associated with FSC for many years, providing a high level of professional service to adult entertainment industry companies and owners throughout that time. Mr. O’Malley has found that many company executives and owners who find themselves with high earnings, often at an early age, delay financial investing and/or retirement planning which makes it more difficult for them to fully leverage their financial wealth over time.
Global Creditors Network – Through a partnership agreement with Global Creditors Network Marketing, Inc., FSC will be able to offer free seminars and webinars to members to help them improve their debt collection efforts with debtors. An online debt calculator to determine how uncollected debt affects your company’s long-range profits will be added to FSC’s website for use by members. This agreement will provide a means to assist FSC members to develop policies, procedures and practices that add to their bottom line. When direct company-driven efforts fail, Global Creditors Network will offer its professional fee-based services to FSC members in collecting business-to-business debt. A portion of the fees and debt collected by GCN will be rebated back to FSC by GCN in its generous support of FSC in creating new, sustainable revenue streams without additional cost to members or FSC.
The Free Speech Coalition is pleased to offer our members the dedicated mortgage services of Tim Carpenter and LoanCarpenter.com. His team is with the second largest independent mortgage banking firm in the country and serves all 50 states for your ongoing convenience. Tim Carpenter and his team have built a strong reputation as an outstanding mortgage consultant serving the lending needs of investors, real estate professionals, builders and individual home buyers throughout most states nationwide. He is also an expert in new condominiums and conversions, and mixed-use and small commercial properties for investment, business, or primary residence. That means he can secure most any loan for you on most any property nationwide – all handled efficiently via phone, and online at your preference.
Advising clients on the best options for their unique needs and goals is paramount and reflected in the large satisfied client base he has nationwide. His banking team ensures you a smooth transaction, attentive service and thorough follow-up using creative scenarios with the absolute latest lending guidelines, quick automated approval systems, and strong Realtor / Lender relationships all ensure the best care and attention during the financing transaction and planning for future needs.
The full range of mortgage products includes Residential, Small-Commercial properties and REVERSE mortgages for seniors. Throughout the lending process regular loan updates and progress reports are provided to the client’s preferred contact method, so they can relax, always know the status of their loan. Check out "What People are Saying" for client references. Their special Mortgage Manager Service keeps you informed of beneficial refinancing possibilities. This exceptional mortgage service is also available online to review loan alternatives, get industry news alerts, and even apply and shop for property via their portal to a custom tailored search report specific to each client’s preferences. For further information and dedicated services, contact Tim at 1.877.749.4499.
Contact Free Speech Coalition to learn more!
FSC will continue to listen to member feedback as we strive to provide more and more services and to represent the industry in ever-increasing ways. Meanwhile, if you have suggestions or are interested in any of the services listed here, please contact us at 1-866-FSC-9373.
Update your membership listing now!
As FSC fully implements our new database which provides opportunities to cross-reference membership listings through different categories, it is increasingly important for us to have accurate information about each and every member and company. We encourage you to please go to our website and update your member information NOW. Even if you think you’ve already done so, please check it again. Our service to you is dependent upon good, accurate and current data. We need your help to make this important facet of membership services work effectively.
There will be new challenges ahead, and new solutions to follow. The more members we serve, the louder and more well-respected our collective voices become.
If you would like to learn more information about Lockton, please visit their website at www.lockton.com and if you would like more information about what Lockton offers FSC members, please call Alan Stearns, Lockton Insurance at 213-689-2372 FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS: Lockton Insurance/Free Speech Coalition – ‘value-added’ benefit for FSC members
1. Why is FSC entering into this partnership with Lockton?
FSC conducted a survey of its members in September 2007. In that survey, members ranked the top concerns they had for their businesses. As the trade association to the adult entertainment industry, FSC is duty-bound, in accordance with our mission, to promote good business practices and to protect and support adult entertainment businesses and others comprising the adult entertainment community. Health and business insurance options were among the highest priorities listed by our members.
After months of research and negotiations with multiple firms nationwide, FSC has entered into a non-exclusive agreement to offer Lockton’s expertise directly to FSC members. This allows our members to receive Fortune 100 services at no additional cost as a ‘value added’ benefit to membership. FSC does not receive any financial remuneration through this agreement. The agreement simply allows FSC to offers members high levels of service as they search for the insurance options that best fit their individual or business needs in all 50 states in the U.S.
2. FSC is providing health insurance to members as a ‘value-added’ benefit. Does this mean that my employees or I will be able to receive underwriting as part of a national group?
No. FSC has partnered with Lockton, the largest privately-held insurance broker in the world, to provide members with one-stop shopping for suitable, cost-effective insurance options for themselves or their businesses. Insurance carriers are governed separately in each of the 50 states so the rules and options may differ from one location to another. Lockton, because of its size, has the ability to customize the best result under varying circumstances through their LA-based, designated team of experts who are familiar with FSC and the adult entertainment industry’s unique needs.
3. Will Lockton be able to save my company money over my current insurance plan?
That depends upon many factors that you and your Lockton representative can discuss individually, including the carrier’s maximum limits, coverage options, underwriting challenges, deductibles, etc. Lockton will help you to find the coverage you and/or your employees need at the best prices possible.
4. I own my own company, but I have no employees. Can Lockton help me?
Yes; however, Lockton specializes in providing insurance coverage to multi-employee firms and in providing group insurance (usually requiring at least two employees under the plan). If Lockton cannot provide insurance options through its own plans or the plans of its major carriers, their small business experts will assist you in finding coverage that is as cost-effective and comprehensive as possible through one of their private brokers in the state where you reside and/or your business is located.
5. My company has over 50 employees. How can Lockton help my company?
Because of Lockton’s size in the insurance industry, companies with over 50 employees have options that smaller companies sometimes don’t have. Lockton can provide an array of cost-savings options to your company as well as high levels of personalized customer service. Lockton exceeds industry standards by providing detailed service and, therefore, retaining more of its customers than any other broker in the U.S. Lockton also insures many of the largest and most recognized names in business.
6. As an adult entertainment business, can Lockton assist my employees in finding insurance.
Yes. Lockton is fully aware of the nature of businesses who are members of the Free Speech Coalition. They have pledged the same high levels of professional service to FSC members as they provide to Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies already on their client list. Give them a call.
7. How do I get quotes for insurance options?
You may contact Alan Stearns, Partner, Lockton Insurance Services. His direct office # is 213-689-2372.
8. I need property & casualty, Directors & Officers, ELPI, Worker’s Compensation or other forms of business insurance. Can Lockton help me to find coverage, even though I operate a retail store, hire talent or am otherwise engaged in adult entertainment business activities?
Yes. Lockton is fully apprised of the nature of businesses belonging to FSC. They offer a full array of options of risk management services, business insurance coverage and state-mandated insurance programs. They will discuss your individual business model and needs and provide you with the best options available for your risk management needs.
9. I’m a consumer or employee at an adult entertainment company and a member of the Free Speech Coalition. I do not currently have insurance. Am I eligible for insurance through a Lockton program?
Yes. Although Lockton may refer individual FSC members to other brokerage houses in order to provide you with the best match to meet your needs, you will receive the same high levels of individualized service Lockton will be offering FSC businesses through the Lockton designated team.
10. I have other questions that are not answered in these FAQs. Who should I contact??
You may call FSC at 1-818-348-9373 or Alan Stearns at Lockton at 213-689-2372.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO NEW AND CURRENT MEMBERS:
Our online membership sign-up and/or renewal is not working at the present time, for personal service please call 1-866-FSC-9373 to sign up or renew by phone
To ensure the confidentiality and security of member information, all member contact and corporate information is stored in a secure database accessible only by designated FSC staff.If you are receiving regular e-mail or mailed communication from us, we have your correct contact information.If not, we don’t have it and your information needs to be updated.
PLEASE NOTE:Our website is undergoing additional improvements and maintenance.During this period, you will not need to login as a member to access all materials on the website.You will be notified by e-mail and/or on the website when login is again required.
Even if you’re regularly receiving materials from us, we strongly urge you to update contact information again now, to include:Corporate/company name, all “doing business as” company names, websites, company owners’ name, preferred contact person’s name, physical business location, mailing address, e-mail address, phone numbers and the type of business or businesses you operate.This is important because we are expanding and improving the information contained in our database to be sure we can cross-reference your membership through various means in order to serve you, our members, better.
Follow the Update Member Information link above.Update your information as requested.Hit the Send Button.You’re finished.It’s quick and easy and will help us to serve you better.
If you do not want, or if you cannot, complete the updated information online, or if you wish to become a new member, please contact our office at 1-866-FSC-9373.Or, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.You may leave a message and one of our friendly staff will return your call to complete your update within a day or two.
FSC is providing more information to members via e-mail or other electronic means.This is especially true when we have an important Member Advisory to share that affects specific segments of the industry or the industry overall.For this reason, providing us with an up-to-date e-mail address is important.
If you cannot provide an e-mail address, we’ll continue to send certain materials to you through the U.S. Mail or other ground carrier options, but you may not receive all notices that could be beneficial to you.Some information is only provided electronically.E-mail will keep you informed much more efficiently.
All other questions regarding membership or services should be sent to email@example.com.You will receive a response to your inquiry, usually within 48 business hours.
FSC strives to provide you with excellent, relevant and important services through the most efficient, cost-effective means possible.Helping us to keep our records up-to-date and complete is an essential part of our ability to do so.We appreciate your membership and your help with this very large, but important, project.