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June 24, 2016

Will Brexit Affect the Adult Industry?

LOS ANGELES—North Americans woke up Friday to the news that a majority of British voters decided the United Kingdom should leave the European Union, and immediately started asking what Brexit—as the referendum has come to be known—means for the U.K., the EU and themselves. The aftermath of the vote has seen many voters express regret for their “leave” votes, as well as the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, the fall of the British pound to a 31-year low and the reality of stock exchanges around the world suffering major losses. Right now, it’s unclear if the U.K.—comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—will remain intact. The unprecedented vote puts global economies into uncertainty, but analysts are already making predictions on how the decision will affect other countries. According to TheStar.com, Brexit could mean a number of changes to Canadian companies, including forcing those who invested in the U.K. to access the EU market to find alternatives. PinkCherry.com is a Toronto-based e-commerce site for buying and selling adult novelties. Reps there said it’s unclear what, if any, effect the Brexit will have on their company. “As we just focus on North America there is no immediate impact on us; however this is all new and how things play out on so many levels will be interesting,” Nancy Freedman, marketing manager for PickCherry.com, told AVN. “The economic impact locally and globally will certainly be something to watch.” The decline of the British pound against the U.S. dollar means that U.S. exports of physical goods—including adult DVDs—could become more expensive for buyers with weaker currencies. Simply put, American-made porn DVDs and sex toys might not be considered extravagances not worth buying if Britons now have to dip into their savings to cover for their everyday living expenses. While there is definitely some sense of panic associated with the Brexit, there are no concrete ideas on long-term effects. “Though there's a bit of chaos in the financial world the day after the U.K. vote, it's unclear what kind of lasting impact this decision will have on the global economy,” said Rainey Stricklin of Juicy Ads, a leading adult advertising network. “We once believed that porn was ‘recession-proof.’ We learned during the last ‘economic downturn’ that we're not immune.  “We should always be concerned when it comes to potential changes in the economy and be prepared for fluctuations,” Rainey told AVN. “Whether it is this issue or not, we should all be ready for an eventual rainy day.” Mitch Farber, CEO of Netbilling—which provides merchant accounts, multi-currency transaction processing, and call center services to thousands of e-commerce and retail companies of all sizes—told AVN he doesn’t believe there is much to worry about. "Aside from an initial weakening of the British pound, which could affect spending from British consumers for porn and other sex-related goods and services, I don't foresee any long-term effect to the adult industry,” he said. “There will be a short-term economic impact felt worldwide that will stabilize relatively quickly."

 
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