Lang Leans on Website Weasels; Shops for Wedding Industry Health Care

By Paul Pannone

 

American Bridal and Prom Industry Association continues its war against websites who pilfer products, ideas and consumers away from legitimate U.S manufacturers. Founder of the organization, Steve Lang, told his board of the progress made against owners of the worst offending websites. According to Lang some are folding after being served with lawsuits.

“Lawsuits against counterfeit websites is in process and seven defendants have already contacted our counsel via their attorney to try and get out from the suit. We will settle with some if they meet our terms which include taking down all the offending items along with other requirements, that if violated will subject them to $50,000 fines for each infraction. We should shortly be before the federal judge with regard to the remaining defendants as well as additional defendants that will be included in the lawsuit,” said Lang this week.

Lang and all the larger supporting manufacturers will be in Chicago and New York in the coming weeks to discuss the matter in person. A meeting is scheduled for Monday morning in Chicago to update members and the industry.

The Jewish Santa, Steve Lang (Center), says he’s honored to give back to the business that’s been so good to him. The wedding business could be getting an early holiday gift; affordable health care for the price of membership.

 

As a separate issue and holding true to his word Lang told eWedNewz he’s shopping for affordable health care for members of the organization.

“I have put in motion the work to find if we can get national health insurance for the industry. I met with a company, Strategic Employee Benefits Services,  that I have faith in; they will e-mail me the census form that all interested parties will need to fill out so that he can begin to assemble the data required to quote coverage for the industry,” accordion to Lang.

Critics of Lang have long been silenced since making false allegations and criticisms earlier this year. Pundits who pushed to catapult themselves into the national spotlight using Lang’s propositions have also failed.

95% of an ongoing poll says they would support an organization that is properly run, offers good benefits and isn’t expensive to join. Only 5% of responses so far said they would not support a general wedding industry organization.

 

What do you say?

The nominal cost of membership– $100 dollars– is required to be eligible for the group health care rates.

Download the application

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2012

American Bridal and Prom Industry Association Nails Online Culprits

By Paul Pannone

In August eWedNewz gave a glimpse of what the new organization called  the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association has done for the business and where they’re going. In an eWedNewz exclusive that digs behind the scenes we’ve discovered the efforts of the organizations is bringing some online crooks to their knees, as lawsuits and actions brought against them cause them to squirm.

In a candid discussion with the founder and head of the organization, Steve Lang, his confidence in an aggressive, relentless campaign against online crooks is building and working. According to Lang;

“We will be going for the court (hopefully) by September 14. The good news is that defendant’s are finding out they are being sued and are contacting our counsel to plead to be let out of the case. We will do no such thing and we will make each of the counterfeiters accountable for what they’ve done. We are making progress and people are joining every day the ABPIA organization. I am very pleased with the progress on many fronts. Not only are people joining the efforts, but they have pledged support as we move into the future to stop the counterfeiters and to move on projects such as securing health insurance for the industry. I sent you an e-mail that summarizes how PayPal in China is cutting off counterfeit sites and this is also another good sign. Once we win in court we will turn to Homeland Security, United States Customs, Visa, MasterCard, UPS, FedEx or anyone else in the supply chain that helps get these counterfeit goods into the United States and Canada.

It has been a long fight and it is not over yet but I am totally confident we will be victorious. The women’s formalwear industry is not the only area being affected by counterfeiting as so many industries are fighting this battle along with us. I believe our government will eventually get involved. They will have no choice,” says Lang.

More and more sources are contacting this newZ source dropping a dime on websites they feel may be engaging in illegal activities, asking us to check them out and follow-up. Again, Lang gives the organization’s stance on the topic in a very terse way;

“If they sent this is an e-mail basically soliciting business using the intellectual property of American companies, they are counterfeiters. The images they show on the sell sheets are US companies for the most part or companies that do business in the US and own the intellectual property,” says Lang, plain and simple.

Vanessa is the latest to solicit American sources that have turned them in for investigation. Expert sources viewing the information from Vanessa say they recognize the images; some from the Allure collection.

 

According to their Linked In profile Vanessa Bridal is a leading manufacturer of bridal gowns and wedding-related products located in the city of Zhongshan, South China, an area known as the largest producer and exporter of wedding dresses worldwide.

The company is strategically situated in close proximity to the major export cities of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, effectively enabling us to serve bridal designers and retailers across the globe.

Through established retail partnerships, Vanessa Bridal’s gowns and accessories are currently being marketed across the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Russia and Brazil, and we are continuing to expand our reach internationally.

While no laws have been broken by Vanessa or hundreds of companies like them– only because laws do not yet exist– the efforts of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association is trying to change that.

30% of an ongoing  eWedNewz poll says the chances of beating online piracy is fair; 22% feel the chances are excellent, 20% say it’s impossible, 13% say the changes are good and 9% say the chances are poor. What do you say?

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2012

American Bridal and Prom Industry Association to File Suit against Internet Pirates

By Paul Pannone

Since announcing a campaign against website pirates in March a new organization, the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association, held meetings in major cities including New York to carefully map out the most efficient way to fight online piracy of dress designs and manufacturer images.

 

After months of work Steve Lang gives his legal team the go-ahead to file a lawsuit to protect participating manufacturers.

Despite minor setbacks from opposition that were not able to gain any real industry support Steve Lang managed to rally the largest manufacturers,  retail stores, the markets, the magazines, sales reps and informational websites for brides and prom girls together to create a meaningful organization that now says it’s ready to deploy some of its resources.  The organization has also been working with other organizations to gain further traction to help fight the endless battle against new websites that pop up and poach American consumers.

After weeks of updates and newZ the organization fell silent to plan the next move which includes filing a lawsuit to protect participating manufacturers, retailers and their websites against further damage. Details of the suit were not disclosed but here’s what we did find out:

In an eWedNewz exclusive, we asked Steve Lang how the latest board meeting went.

“It went great. We authorized counsel to proceed with the lawsuit. This should happen early next week in federal court in New York. Atlanta market will give me audience with all manufacturers and retailers next month so we can offer more people the opportunity to join ABPIA. We will have a morning meeting either Saturday or Sunday of market in Atlanta.

I have also reached out to all media sources and asked them to crank up the media machines with the advertising that was committed to educate the ultimate consumer on the dangers of buying counterfeit goods.

We formed sub committees that are working  on membership, advertising, public relations and litigation.

Once we are beyond this first obstacle fighting the counterfeiters, we will move on to other lofty goals.

We have been in contact with United States Customs, Homeland Security and the Trademark Office and we have commitments for help from these entities. This is a great accomplishment because once we are armed with the win from the courts we will be able to begin shuttering these counterfeit sites with the help of government agencies.

We will also use the win to go after Google, the credit cards, the freight companies and anyone else in the supply chain that helps get these counterfeit goods into the United States.

I think it’s a great day for the industry. They may have hit us as if it was Pearl Harbor, but we all know the end of that story. Get ready for a repeat. They have awakened the sleeping giant,” according to Lang.

According to sources near the story the quiet over the past few months was to not tip-off the lawsuit and to wait for a better timing when wedding industry events and shows enable the better use of time and resources.

Discussions with Steve Lang say he’s committed to creating a national organization to give value and benefits to the wedding industry. Fragmented and loosely supported  organizations give some options but, according to Lang, there is a better way to organize the business.

In an ongoing eWedNewz poll 19% of respondents say they will support the organization if it is properly run. 10% replied they would support it if it offers good benefits and value. 8% said they would support the organization if it isn’t too expensive to join. 59% said they would support the organization if it met “all the above”. Only 5% said they would not support a wedding industry organization.

What do you say?

 

eWedNewz continues our coverage of this story and welcomes your thoughts.

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2012