LELO Reports Influx of Counterfeits, Fights Back

Ariana Rodriguez
STOCKHOLM, Sweden — LELO says it has identified manufacturers in China as the producers of counterfeit LELO products and with limited options for legal retaliation, the company’s U.S. sales manager Donna Faro told XBIZ education is the company’s primary weapon in fighting piracy.

Faro said there’s recently been an emergence of end users and retailers that have contacted the high-end manufacturer regarding questionable products bearing the LELO name that have been purchased not only online but through brick-and-mortar retailers.

“Clearly there’s several pirates that want to benefit from our upward trend,” Faro said. “LELO has identified where some of the knock-offs originated and is doing its due diligence to take action against them. This is a very serious issue and we’re not taking it lightly.”

Faro said that while LELO holds patents on all of its products and related technology, there is little a brand can do to ensure the disappearance of counterfeits from the market, aside from mailing certified cease-and-desist letters — which Faro said the company does and typically yields temporary results.

“We want to show retailers that we are taking steps to fight the counterfeiters,” Faro said. “Education, however, is where we can make the most progress.”

She noted that while every industry retailing a product is likely to be copied, the novelty industry has the benefit of technology, which is among the telltale signs of a LELO rip-off.

“It’s not that difficult to spot a fake — granted that they have the knowledge regarding our product interfaces and details,” Faro said. “The lower quality material used is the No. 1 telltale sign, and the pirated toys are often much louder — LELO products are whisper quiet. A consumer wouldn’t know, and retailers are very upset when they find these fakes have made it into their stores.

“I actually walked into a Canadian adult shop and saw a counterfeit on display. The packaging was completely different, the logo and motifs were misplaced.”

During an economic downturn, it is typical to shop for the lowest prices available.

“My advice is if it sounds too good to be true, you should probably question the integrity of the product being offered to you,” Faro said. “At LELO, we stand behind our high-quality products and their pricing.”