March 19th, 2013

spike rocks!

In memoriam

Back in 2002, I went to California to visit spend a weekend in Los Angeles with some friends I'd met via the Television Without Pity Buffy the Vampire Slayer forum, and to attend the San Diego Comic-Con. I had some time to kill between the Buffycon and the Comic-Con, so I hung out in L.A. for a few days. On one of those days, I went to the offices of Daily Variety, the venerable Hollywood trade paper, in whose advertising department one of those Buffy friends of mine happened to work.

After she showed me around the office, we headed off to a nearby restaurant to have lunch. Once we were seated, we chatted about this and that. I don't remember many of the specifics, but I do remember that at some point the subject of fan ads came up. Fan ads are what they sound like: ads placed by fans in trade publications to show how much they love whatever it is they're fans of. Earth 2 fans claim to have been the first to place a fan ad, in 1995; fans of Firefly and Brokeback Mountain (and quite a few others) have also placed fan ads.

It was at about this point in our conversation that my friend handed me a folder emblazoned with the Variety logo and began talking in some depth about how a group of dedicated fans, such as those who would gather to spend a weekend touring locations where our favorite show had been filmed and watching old episodes of the show together, would go about placing a fan ad and how much a group like that might expect to pay. Once she'd made her pitch and answered my questions about the process, the conversation turned to other topics, as conversations will do, and once we'd finished eating, she paid and we left. And then she went back to her office and, having spent a fair portion of her lunch break discussing business with a potential client, submitted the receipt for reimbursement.

The TWoP Buffy fans never did place an ad in Daily Variety, though, so I can't help feeling partially responsible for its demise. "Advertising revenue at the paper has dropped dramatically over the last several years," you see. Sorry about that, guys! But hey, thanks for the lunch. It was delicious.