City Vibe was a major player in the escort advertising world. You could get a big glossy ad in any major city in the US and even some not so major ones. They had some kinda link exchange deal with the big national review website, yanno the one that boasts a gazillion escort reviews. If you had a profile on that site you would often find a link to your ad on Eros or some other site replaced by a link to City Vibe. When I started touring, City Vibe would often give me a free ad in what ever city I was traveling to. I didn’t ask for this ad they would just do it and somehow they knew where I was traveling to. They would call me every once in a while and ask me to advertise with them often giving out great deals and every once in a while I would bite, hoping they could bring me more work but it never seemed to play out that way. Eros was the big player and City Vibe didn’t net me more business and why spend hundreds on an ad that didn’t perform. I didn’t. Other people did though, some big named girls always had ads up on City Vibe. I’m guessing it worked for them or they wouldn’t spend the cash. It just never did for me.
I promptly forgot about them (and their free ads) when I stopped touring. Until the other day. It started on Twitter when a friend who was a regular City Vibe advertiser was having a fit about some redesign changes. Apparently City Vibe was now adopting the look and feel on their front pages of Backpage. You’d have to dig for the escort ads among the long list of items for sale like clocks and dressers. Once you did find this escort sites escort ads, you find that they are heavily pushing their new VIP ads, which look strangely familiar. Upon a little further inspection they also seem to have their own “review” site attached. Cuz what they world needs is more “review” sites, especially one that is almost an exact duplicate of that national review site they used to be partnered with. It’s weird to see such a long established site have such an obvious identity crisis.
Skip ahead a week and its all over my twitter stream City Vibe is being sued. Sued? Yup Sued! I was able to find the legal complaint that was filed (it was easy to find) and it turns out City Vibe isn’t being sued by that review site they took the whole review model from, or Backpage whose concept they are appropriating but they are being sued by Slixa for copying the look and feel of their VIP ads. Slixa is an upstart escort advertising site that’s been hitting the ground running and earning a lot of good will in the escort world. Its a splashy new site and when I first saw them, thought that they were positioning themselves to take on Eros. Trying to be in direct competition with the most high end of all the escort advertising venues. I thought good for them, there needs to be more options for escorts. They have a unique look and feel and do a few things Eros doesn’t that I personally think makes them appealing to escorts, like not doing traffic trades or having links on their site that go off to cam girls or porn sites. Escorts like that cuz when you pay the big bucks you don’t want to give away your eye balls.
As I’ve long stated my background is in advertising, more specifically art direction. That’s what I went to college for. So my first thought was really suing over a design? Is that even possible? Then I did the compare and contrast and its clear to me that City Vibe is directly copying Slixa’s VIP pages. To the smallest of details. Seems City Vibe doesn’t have an original thought in their head. Maybe they think they need to swipe ideas from everyone else to be competitive, or maybe their art department is lazy or …who knows the why of it all. I’m no legal expert so who knows if Slixa will be successful in court (a jury trial was demanded in the filing) But to an ex art directer with some knowledge in aping other peoples work and making it your own I can say with confidence that City Vibe didn’t even try to modify they just out right aped. I don’t understand that business model. Sex workers are always trying to be unique to try to find a way to stand out from a crowd. That’s why I always advise people to find their best feature and whats special about them no matter what that is and play that up. City Vibe might do well to take the same advice and try to stand out instead of trying to blend in by swiping everyone else’s business models and looks. They been around a long time, are well established and its strange to see this implosion and to watch them self destruct. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them just disappear one day or maybe hear though the grapevine that they are up for sale.
Escorts need more options for advertising not less and more then that, they need GOOD options not cookie cutter slapped together miss mashes of other sites. I hope City Vibe pulls themselves together and once again becomes a real option for escorts and their advertising needs but I’m not holding my breath.
Full disclosure I am a contract writer for Slixa but in this blog… all my thoughts are my own!