(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Electric EEL Inc., a maker of intimates and adult novelties, distributed a press release earlier this month accusing the Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo (ANME) of a “targeted attack and attempt to stifle competition” because the show has barred it from exhibiting at an upcoming trade show in Burbank, July 12-14.
According to Electric EEL, it “was surprised to hear from the show organizer that the show was full and that the “Fire Marshall would not allow [the company to exhibit] due to over capacity.”” Electric EEL produces products under the licensed Hustler name, as well as other brands, and is owned by Elan Rofé, son of René Rofé, owner of International Intimates.
As we went to press with this story, BODY had failed in several attempts to get a reaction from an ANME spokesperson.
In the press release, Elan Rofé stated “The show organizer and decision makers are essentially shutting us out in order to make it easy for them to create an unfair advantage and prevent our new and existing items from being shown at the ANME show. Not allowing our company to show at ANME will not keep us from getting our goods into the marketplace. We will continue to prove to retailers and distributors alike that our products are of a higher quality and better value.”
According to the Electric EEL release, it was “rejected from exhibiting at the ANME show this summer after countless unanswered attempts to email and call show organizers. Rather than embrace healthy competition and let the marketplace decide, the company feels they are being blocked from conducting business at the show in what should be a fair competition, open environment. “We have contacted the organizers continuously via email and phone since the end of the January show, requesting vendor applications with absolutely no reply or response,” Rofé said, according to the release. “We have not received any emails or communication in regards to participating in the show and when our call was finally answered (once), we got a reply that we feel is untrue. I am pretty sure the show was not booked to capacity at the time of application and that someone just does not want us there because of what we bring to the marketplace.”
In answer to an emailed list of questions from BODY, Elan Rofé added, “They have toyed with us for years, allowed us to show at the last two shows and now are keeping us from exhibiting because they know our products are a better value and better quality.”
Asked if he had heard of other exhibitors who have been prevented from attending, Rofé wrote, “None. And, I have asked.”
To a question about his previous expenditures at the ANME show, Rofé replied, “Enough that we paid our bills, advertised, entertained clients and paid for 6+ employees to travel and for accommodations.”
In the original release Rofé concluded, “If they are not going to permit our company at ANME, we need to find other ways to get our brands and exciting new products into the hands of buyers. An interesting, incentivized marketing campaign is on the way and retailers and distributors will feel the impact in the form of higher profits, lower selling prices to their customers and improved customer service and customer satisfaction.”
On its website today, the show notes, “ANME Expands! Summer Trade Show Will Be The Biggest ANME Show Ever. Due to overwhelming demand for more exhibitor space, the ANME founders have secured additional space at the current location and will be offering an additional 63 booths.”
As we went to press, the exhibitor list posted on the website included a few lingerie brands such as Baci, Magic Silk and Elegant Moments. But not Electric EEL or Hustler.
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