Pirated Products a Concern to many Wedding Business Owners

By Paul Pannone

The response to a new organization promising to protect, defend and uphold the rights of wedding business owners grows stronger with every mention of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association. The concept for the organization originally started because of the rampant abuses experienced in the bridal dress business. But an ongoing eWedNewz investigation shows the mission of the new organization is to bring relief, benefits and services to the entire wedding industry at large.


Camille Thomas, owner of Illusions Bridal Veils, says she’s been trying fight off online pirates on her own for years. Thomas says she welcomes the help that’s on its way.

An eWedNewz story in March, 2012, listed suspected websites that pirate merchandise, images or both, hurting legitimate businesses. Many reports from business owners say they’ve tried to fight off the abusive practices on their own but to no avail.

Camille Thomas, owner of  Illusions Bridal Veils in Fruita, Colorado responded to the eWedNewz story saying;

“I own Illusions Bridal Veils and these businesses have stolen my pictures as well as many of the other websites listed above.  Very frustrating because this hurts my business and all of my customers business.  I have been trying to get all of these types of sites to remove my pictures for almost 2 years.  Most of them don’t care so the pictures remain.  I went to great expense to take new pictures last year and I am sure it won’t be long until they steal those too,” said Camille.

An ongoing eWedNewz poll shows business owner support an organization that would help them fight off piracy. Steve Lang, the driving force behind the campaign and new organization, told eWedNewz he envisions an organization that would do much more.

“Of course we would fight against piracy; but the industry needs much more than just that. They need valuable information and tools to operate in today’s new business environment.”

According to Lang the bylaws and structure of the organization forms a cohesive way for members and supporters to work together and accomplish what the fragmented wedding business will never achieve on its own. Pooled resources and proper legal guidance are part of the organization, guided by leadership from successful business people like Lang.

Camille Thomas added her support for Lang and what he’s doing for the industry;

“I was so happy to see that Steve Lang has started to fight back against the chinese businesses who are killing our wedding industry.  They have absolutely no regard for laws or the fact that they are stealing other people’s images to sell their own merchandise.  It is impossible for my customers to compete with these businesses when they are selling the same merchandise for next to nothing.  This issue has been the main problem in my business for the past couple years and I will gladly stand behind anyone who has the knowledge and resources to fight this,” Camille told eWedNewz.

The American Bridal and Prom Industry Association has over a half million dollars in cash and media commitments to fund the campaign and organization. According to Lang, the legal team has not accessed any of the money in the coffer; they’ve used their own time and resources and those of Mon Cheri to bootstrap the launch.

The ABPIA meets today to ratify board members, finalize bylaws and other matters including a website to share information with its members.




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American Bridal and Prom Industry Association Board Meeting Set for Tommorrow


By Paul Pannone

eWedNewz has learned the first meeting of the board for the American Bridal and Prom Association is set for tomorrow, Thursday, June 7th, to discuss how the wedding industry can unify under a single organization and create meaningful benefits for the business. eWedNewz broke the newZ last week to a business in serious trouble ranging from marriages falling out of favor to pirated materials over the internet and everything in between.

The board of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association meets tomorrow, while the wedding industry waits to hear of the benefits of membership.


The board meeting is confirmed for June 7, 2012 @ 3:00 p.m. EST, according to sources familiar with the story. Newz of the formation of the organization was top newZ last week.

According to sources the plan is to consolidate and eventually replace product specific organizations that no longer have the support of their business category. Redundancy and lack of interest is often cited as the main reason for failure. The new idea is to give members a reason to participate that includes strength in numbers, pooling resources and negotiate better prices for products that everyone in business uses. Healthcare is the number-one interest to small business owners in the wedding industry.

eWedNewz also learned a member of the Knot will not be include on the board due to a reported conflict.

In an ongoing eWedNewz poll wedding industry  members want a well-run organization that offers benefits of membership and isn’t costly to join.

Take the poll


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American Bridal and Prom Industry Association gets ready to Launch

By Paul Pannone

eWedNewz has learned of a new association of wedding industry manufacturers and retailers that will include all segments of the business. The organization is the result of a raging war against off-shore sources poaching American consumers and disrupting the wedding gown business.

eWedNewz has learned the support for the new organization garnered in a relatively short time  led to the expansion beyond the dress business. Plans to roll out and run the organization begins this week, as the board assembles to discuss details.


Will the IBMA be replaced by the ABPIA?


According to sources familiar with the story the board will include Bob Cahoon of Maggie Sottero  and other notable wedding industry members, including decision-makers from the Knot. Retailers for the board are also being considered and finalized at the first meeting this month.

The head of the group, Steve Lang, confirmed the launch and promised a more in-depth interview when all the facts are assembled. eWedNewz readers want to know what happened to the extensive coverage surrounding the war on Chinese websites that began back in March.

“You won’t be disappointed by waiting a week to get all the details, after we work them out at our meeting,” said Lang in an email exchange.

Since returning from a trip to China, visiting 27 factories that make products for Mon Cheri the flow of information was halted. Lang came under criticism by other manufacturers trying to launch their own offensive campaigns against piracy. But with the newZ of the new organization and a war chest of over a half-million dollars, evenly split between hard cash and media commitment value, sources feel all the other attempts will be consolidated under the new organization.

In past discussions Lang told eWedNewz he is disappointed in the IBMA’s lack of performance since its relaunch in late 2011. Since the start Lang told eWN he envisioned a broader wedding industry organization that could include benefits of membership to all segments of the business, not just dresses.

What do you think?


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