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78-79 WORLD NEWS:SPN Master pages 14/09/2009 13:40 Page 2
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of backing from the industry.” funding mechanism, which used
The campaign collected and a formula based on pump
spent more than $400,000 on horsepower that would have
various research, planning and resulted in a fee for each spa.
outreach projects in an effort to Some industry members
support an industry that has thought the emphasis on
seen revenues decline steadily financial logistics moved the
since 2004. initiative in the wrong direction.
As early as July 2008, APSP In addition, dealers may not
officials had begun reducing have seen eye to eye with the
their expectations. Just four campaign’s fundamental goals.
firms by then had contributed “Retailers never got it,” she
start-up funds: L.A. Spas , said. “As a retailer, it’s hard to
Master Spas, Marquis Spas, and create a demand; I can only
Beachcomber Hot Tubs, based fulfill a demand.”
The failure of the leading US spa sales set a goal to raise in British Columbia, Canada. The key was getting enough
trade organisation, the $10m annually for mass-market Last summer, APSP officials manufacturers to buy in and say
Association of Pool & Spa advertising, as well as education travelled to California in hopes of they believed in it, Carlson
Professionals to raise funds for and certification programmes. securing the backing of industry explained.
a nationwide hot tub Hurt by a lack of funding from giants Jacuzzi/Sundance but “And APSP was trying to
advertising campaign is being hot tub manufacturers – many of support was not forthcoming. create a demand,” she said.
seen as a sign that there are whom were battered “A lot of people had different “So that’s the quandary, and
longer term issues with sales themselves by the slumping ideas and opinions on how the that’s what Lauren really tried
throughout the country. economy – the campaign never initiative should be run,” said to present.
One association member said gained the momentum the Kathleen Carlson, Senior Vice “But the research they did
that the decline in sales of new hot industry had hoped would carry President of Sales and Marketing was amazing, and everybody
tubs showed a bigger problem it through the early stages. at Aqua Quip. “No matter how ought to take a look at it and
than first thought. It’s effects, he “The support just wasn’t hard they tried, they just couldn’t take it to heart,” Carlson added.
added, had implications over the there,” said Lauren Stack, get everyone to agree to it. And “Ultimately, we’re not a
next few years. APSP’s Director of Public Affairs if you can’t get the big guys on need, we’re only a want. If we
APSP abandoned its nation and Industry Promotion, who board, it isn’t going to work.” get too far down the list, we’re
wide initiative earlier this summer. helped spearhead the initiative. One of the campaign’s going to go away. That’s what
The high profile initiative in “We didn’t have the groundswell sticking points was around its Lauren was saying.”
The US swimming pool trade Inez Tenebaum, of the throughout the summer with published the headline, “Why
has been exposed as failing Consumer Product Safety two major national television Are Unprotected Pool Drains
to comply with the new Commission, says that channels highlighting the issue. Still Threatening Our Children?”
Virginia Graeme Baker Act - compliance is mandatory and The pool industry claimed Another website,
the law which requires them the pools must comply now or that the reports failed to, followed suit
to install new, safer suction be shut down, despite some acknowledge the differences in with “Swimming Pools Are
covers to prevent the risk of hotel chains, including Marriot, danger between shallow and Child Death Traps”.
entrapment. saying they can remain open deep-water swimming pools, or The trade clearly fears more
The high profile US until replacement covers are the challenges inherent in lawsuits.
Network television NBC’s fitted. Media coverage bringing some pools into In June, the widow of a
Today show found that throughout the United States compliance. Pittsburgh drowning victim
thousands of pools in the US has raised this safety issue to After the national television filed a lawsuit against an
were failing to comply. And in almost panic proportions. coverage, more stories took a athletic club, stating that her
the past two month the trade The profile of how pools have more accusatory tone. Websites husband had been stuck to a
has been on the receiving end been dealing with the Act has also pitched in, such as pool drain when he died. The
of critical press coverage. intensified in frequency and tone, which case is still pending.
78 Swimming Pool News October 09 Digital edition available at
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