By Paul Pannone
On the first anniversary of an unprecedented meeting in New York the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association convened members of the wedding media to update them on the progress of efforts to slow down the rampant piracy of American goods and conceptual property. Members of the ABPIA board gave the gathering a realistic assessment of the current status saying the campaign enters another phase of an expected long, arduous process.
Bob Cahoon of Maggie Sottero gave the media gathering in New York his honest assessment of a very difficult situation. Steve Lang looks on.
Steve Lang took his usual place at the start of the meeting but yielded midway to Bob Cahoon, president of Maggie Sottero and board member. Cahoon reiterated what Lang has been telling eWedNewz and the wedding industry for over a year staying consistent with the message. Both Cahoon and Lang went beyond the usual rundown of what’s been done so far and stressed how the battle becomes more difficult with each win.
“They’re not going to just sit still and allow us to gain any ground; to the contrary they’re becoming more aggressive and tenacious in their efforts, ” Lang told eWedNewz.
According to Lang the battles won so-far were only preliminaries of what is to come. The illegal use of imaging and explaining how it hurts manufacturers is a difficult legal battle. Now the greater use of technology changing the face of models, creating an entirely different image, makes convincing a judge of a crime more difficult.
Exuberance of a year ago turned serious this time around, as Lang and the ABPIA fight an uphill battle for support from an industry whose nation is under siege. Lang cited a New York Times story of how the middlemen and layers of overhead are being stripped away from the chain supply of manufactured goods. Lang and Cahoon admitted retailers are part of the traditional structure and conduit between their products and consumers. But rising cost of operation inflates prices and is forcing some stores, including Vera Wang, to figure out how to stay competitive while boosting revenue.
“We know all the challenges that exist; they’re not going to go away. All we can do is adjust our businesses to the realities that are out there. The best we can hope for is to slow down the deterioration that is taking place,” Lang told the gathering.
An ongoing poll shows 71% of combined replies so-far think the chances of beating online piracy are fair-to-excellent. 26% of combined replies say chances are poor-to-impossible.
Only 5% of current replies say they would not join an industry organization. An overwhelming majority say they would support an organization that was well-run, offered good benefits and was not too expensive to join.
An appeal to the gathered media to spread the word about the organization was reinforced by board members. Cahoon told the members of the media he keeps track of the perception of the organization’s effort by having Maggie Sottero sales people ask accounts what they think. The results of the surveys were not clear or available for review, but Cahoon mentioned the $100 dollar membership fee was sometimes an issue.
On his own, Lang brought up plans to provide affordable healthcare to the broader wedding industry beyond dresses. But while poll results so-far show a strong sign of support, actual membership does not show the results.
All Rights Reserved