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April 1998
Volume 25
Number 2

EQUIPMENT & SERVICES FOR EFFECTIVE RETAILING

Cigar Security System Aims to Deter Forgery
Holographic, Serialized Stickers Can Be Verified on 'Net

Worldwide Cigar Security, of Miami, Florida, has developed a high-tech cigar forgery deterrent. The WCS Security System, designed to safeguard against the widespread distribution and sale of counterfeit cigars, uses a multilevel, customized holographic sticker with a proprietary PIN number, that would allow distributors, tobacco shops, and consumers to verify the authenticity of, as well as trace, every cigar box from around the world.

The WCS Security System, which is currently being considered by major cigar manufacturers, offers manufacturers the opportunity to have WCS investigators follow the trail of likely forgeries. Through their system, WCS will be able to investigate and identify illegal manufacturers and unauthorized dealers involved in forgeries of established trademark brands. The system provides manufacturers, retailers, and consumers a method by which to make a visual inspection, plus a method of further verification via WCS's Internet site where the cigars' PIN number can be confirmed. Suspected counterfeit boxes can also be reported, so that they can be tracked down by the manufacturer and eliminated from the market. Using their in-house legal counsel, WCS offers manufacturers assistance in the prosecution of counterfeiters.

The system works through the use of a seal of authenticity and the Internet site to provide a verification system for each cigar box. The seals are holographic stickers, each with an accompanying PIN number, which are virtually impossible to duplicate according to the company. The stickers were created by WCS's strategic partner, HDI, a leader in holographic technology, which provides mass-replication of holographic imagery to a number of international corporations.

The Internet site verification can be linked to the manufacturer's site and/or the WCS company web site. Reports generated from the Internet site by visits from consumers and tobacconists provide a manufacturer with data on distribution channels and information on quality control, as well as consumer feedback.

Worldwide Cigar Security Company, 782 N.W. 42nd Ave., Suite 634, Miami, FL 33126, Tel: (800) 624-0676, Fax: (305) 447-1151.


Duracraft Recalls Defective Humidifiers
Duracraft Corporation of Southborough, Mass., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced a recall of about one million humidifiers. According to the company, the units can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

The company had received approximately 85 reports of these humidifiers overheating and catching on fire or emitting smoke. There were no confirmed reports of injuries, but there were reports of property damage of varying degree.

The humidifiers involved in this recall are models DH-901 through DH-904, with date codes that fall within the range of 900101 to 941231, and all models DH-3001 through DH-3006. The model number and date code are located on a stiker on the bottom of each humidifier's base.

The rectangular-shaped units were sold in major retail stores nationwide from January 1991 through June 1996. They include a water tank which ranges in size from one to four gallons and is located next to the mist chamber, which has an attached control panel.

Consumers are advised to cease using these humidifiers and contact Duracraft for free repair or replacement of the unit.

Duracraft Corp., 250 Turnpike Road, Southborough, MA 01772, Tel: (800) 290-8495.


Accessories, Smoke Shop Merchandiser From Got Cigars


Got Cigars, a manufacturer of cigar accessories and distributor of premium cigars from the Dominican Republic, has introduced Tonto, a classic cigar store Indian, created for merchandise display. The company is also offering a new line of popular cigar accessories, available in a variety of merchandising vehicles.

Tonto is a cardboard merchandiser that can be used for marketing and displaying cigar-related items. It comes with a prepackaged multiple product display shipper and is available with J-hooks on which products can be exhibited.

The line of accessories comes packaged in blister cards, consisting of a single-bladed cutter; a double-bladed, self-sharpening cutter; a golf ball punch-cutter; a three-finger leather case; a three-pack of storage tubes; a humidifier; and a hygrometer. They are available to be merchandised on counter displays, power panels, wing racks, floor displays, clipstrips, or as open stock for hooks. Got Cigars plans to expand the line with other high-volume accessories.

Got Cigars, 5010 Shoreham Place, #300, San Diego, CA 92122, Tel: (619) 450-1325, Fax: (619) 455-REON.