By Patrick Avenell

Maxwell International, the local distributors of camera accessory brands include Lowepro, Tamron and Lensbaby, has moved swiftly today to silence industry rumours that it was not selling en masse to the public at PMA.

Marketing manager Brendan Lee told this morning that Maxwell’s sales staff had become aware of comments in the industry regarding the large queues of consumers that surrounded the Maxwell stand on the Saturday of the 2011 PMA exhibition. Lee said this was due to a promotion Maxwell had been running through its Facebook site.

“During PMA, we had a phenomenal response to a Facebook promotion that we ran, with over 750 Facebook fans securing coupons for a free bag at our stand at the show,” said Lee, who reported the RRP range of these bags as between $59 and $89.

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The commotion at the stand, Lee said, had caused several retailers to become concerned that Maxwell was selling to these consumers, rather than giving away a promotional product.

“We've had some retailers visiting the show concerned that we were selling product to this line of people and abusing our relationship with our retailers,” he said, noting that Maxwell’s intentions was the opposite: to win over new fans that could be referred to retail partners.

Lee said that Maxwell was committed to its retail partners and its overall retail-based channel strategy. He did, however, confirm that one portfolio brand, Acme Made, is currently sold online.

“Our newest brand Acme Made is the only exception. It is currently offered to customers online due to its present limited distribution and prices are set strictly at the recommended retail price.”

Although upset at this misunderstanding, Lee said it had demonstrated how effective Maxwell’s current social media program has been.

“We are sorry that there has been a misunderstanding but we think this is a great opportunity for our retailers to be made aware of our fast-growing social media activity, and encourage all individual retail staff members to jump on board and connect with our fans who are keen on adding gear to their collection,” Lee said.