Via Nigorimasen! comes the word that ADV's Ledford continues to toot the same cracked horn of lies, deceiption, and disregard for his customers.
I am sure it would not be a new insight, but consider this: If only A titles sell profitably, why does ADV continue to license B titles? Why run extra loss? A few of their apologists suggested that Japanese studios twist Ledford's arms and make him to execute block buys. Unfortunately for that theory, in the same podcast
he [Mr. Baliff (see below)] pimps Le Chevalier D’eon. Personally, I am quite sure that the main reason for ADV's troubles is that on the average they licensed poor performers. They used the Venture Capitalist technique: buy randomly, because you cannot evaluate the future viability anyway; then, the few big hits pay for it all. Sometimes they license something outstanding, like Azumanga Daioh, but most of the time they don't. It ran well for a while, but now rising costs of doing business make this method impractical. So now, while continuing his highly offensive anti-fan PR, Ledford turns to buy Gurren-Lagann, which is certain to sell well.
I would like to stress again what actually is happening here. The "problems" described in ADV's despicable PR campaign have absolutely nothing with their trouble. The difficulties were caused by real management missteps, and the management knows what their errors were. Now they address these errors without admitting to it. Meanwhile, the PR campaign shields them from the criticism.
Update: Avatar responds and seems to indicate that B titles do bring profit after all. This contradicts to what Ledford implied on numerous occasions, but of course he was slick enough not to give any verifiable statements.
Update: T. of Nigorimasen! wrote to remind me to pay attention. The Chevalier was mentioned by Mike Balliff, ADV Senior VP of Sales, and not John Ledford.
Just in case anyone thought otherwise, the ADV's disgusting anti-fan campaign did not begin yesterday. Here's what a fluff article in Wired said August 2005, almost two years ago:
One answer to both of these problems, said ADV spokesman Chris Oarr, is to invest upfront in new anime shows rather than waiting around until a series hits it big in Japan. "ADV has been an equity partner and a co-producer of anime series for over 10 years. It's now commonplace to see us in the credits for shows like Samurai Gun."
Oarr also believes that sewing up U.S. rights early on helps prevent piracy. "They know that we will go after people who are ripping us off. You can't find a single torrent of Samurai Gun out there."
Although the above was said by the ADV's official PR flack, Ledford personally partook in the PR and propaganda later. I just don't have a link handy.
Incidentially, Samurai Gun was a horrible flop.