It's official

Got the scoop on a hot new story? New line? Other cool stuff? New legislation in your area?Post it here....
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CigarSpurs
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Re: It's official

Post by CigarSpurs » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:37 am

Thanks for posting Saka's reactions here. I was wondering his thoughts and he did seem quite candid?
I feel a little better......

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Re: It's official

Post by IWinchester » Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:02 pm

Ok. I just re-listened to the JD interview from last weeks Cigar Chat, and I've cooled down a bit. Perhaps my love of DE will prevail over my hate of corporations.


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Re: It's official

Post by kurtdesign1 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:12 am

I don't think I have a lot of direct thoughts about the acquisition, rather some general ones about the lead up and fallout.

I'm surprised about the outpouring of hate for Swisher. Why? The more I read online, the more I realize that the biggest reason to dislike them (their opposition of CRA) is not known by many. Besides that, why the hate? Do we all not realize that the parent company of La Aurora is a major cigarette and and MM cigar manufacturer? How about the fact that DE themselves has been trying to crack SWISHER'S market for over 5 years (conservative estimate)! I personally was in their Esteli factory in early 10 and witnessed JD showing off dual shrinkwrapped ACID cigars on a cardboard backer that were intended to be sold in a drug store as competition to many of the swisher products. What about the fact that DE is primarily a flavored/infused cigar manufacturer? I read an opinion earlier that about 60% of their production was an infused product. At an annual production of 26,000,000 cigars, do you really think there are 10 1/2 million Ligas, Undercrowns, MUWATS, etc., out there? For perspective, the entire annual output of Illusione was estimated (by Dion) to be well below 500k sticks (2010 production estimate). That's AT LEAST 22x more premium DE products than Illusione on the market. I just don't buy that. If I had to guess, I'd say the "premium" market was no more than 10% of DEs production but was more like 90% of its public relations focus.

DE sold a lifestyle, a "brand" if you may. You wanted to be cool like Drew & Saka. You wanted to feel a connection as a middle class American buying cigars from middle class Americans. The fact is, a business and marketing plan was sold to the consumer, and it was sold well. It was sold REALLY well. Most people are pissed because there's a little minuscule part of them that feels betrayed. This "DE4L" slogan, or "#LetsdoitforJD", or "#Letsdoittogether" or whatever other hash tag phrases were thrown around, was a business strategy. We consumers didn't feel that included a multi-million dollar buyout when the opportunity came along. But there was no reason not to, besides our own assumptions. In fact, I seem to recall JD being vocal in support of industry members many of us would otherwise have disparaged or cast aside as non-boutique, not-passionate-enough or perhaps just not "cool" enough.

This really isn't on the remaining executives of Drew Estate at the time of sale. It's on you and me. We didn't want this to happen so we're mad that it did.

To a great many of my friends, I apologize ahead of time for what I'm about to say: Get over it.
Yep, I mean it. If you're pissed that DE sold to Swisher because it's "selling out", get over it. Be pissed that the new corporate umbrella is a company which does not support the tandem mission of the CRA and the average American cigar smoker. Be pissed that a few friends were made to look silly last month when they broke this story originally. Just DON'T be pissed that DE is going corporate. I'll tell you the best thing I can muster on the topic; they already were.

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CigarSpurs
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Re: It's official

Post by CigarSpurs » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:33 am

We can still "vote with our feet", correct? If you don't like it for some reason,
don't buy the product anymore. Shoot. If someone offers me $xx.xxx million for
my company, sorry, but see ya!

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Re: It's official

Post by Kip » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:13 pm

kurtdesign1 wrote:DE sold a lifestyle, a "brand" if you may. You wanted to be cool like Drew & Saka. You wanted to feel a connection as a middle class American buying cigars from middle class Americans. The fact is, a business and marketing plan was sold to the consumer, and it was sold well. It was sold REALLY well. Most people are pissed because there's a little minuscule part of them that feels betrayed. This "DE4L" slogan, or "#LetsdoitforJD", or "#Letsdoittogether" or whatever other hash tag phrases were thrown around, was a business strategy. We consumers didn't feel that included a multi-million dollar buyout when the opportunity came along. But there was no reason not to, besides our own assumptions. In fact, I seem to recall JD being vocal in support of industry members many of us would otherwise have disparaged or cast aside as non-boutique, not-passionate-enough or perhaps just not "cool" enough.
Bingo. After the initial shock and awe passed, this is what I see setting in amongst the DE faithful. They are feeling betrayed. Most that I've seen are either a.) saving face by denying their feelings, or b.)getting sullen.
kurtdesign1 wrote:Yep, I mean it. If you're pissed that DE sold to Swisher because it's "selling out", get over it. Be pissed that the new corporate umbrella is a company which does not support the tandem mission of the CRA and the average American cigar smoker. Be pissed that a few friends were made to look silly last month when they broke this story originally. Just DON'T be pissed that DE is going corporate. I'll tell you the best thing I can muster on the topic; they already were.
Boom. You got it. Nail, meet head.
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Re: It's official

Post by Zedman05 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:48 pm

Meh, coulrn't care less anymore. Haven't bought anything DE for a while now as I am tired of the differring blends from batch to batch being quiet a difference.
They can sell off to whomever they want, they haven't changed my opinion of them; a brand that for the majority of their cigars have priced themselves out of the market, and made me annoyed trying to search out those super limited expensive specialty sticks.

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Re: It's official

Post by Cigar_Coop » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:58 pm

Kip wrote:You know what? I'm just going to say this instead of thinking it. I'll blame the tumor.

Frankly, I'm severely disappointed with the DE folks over the past few weeks. They, in general, were not simply denying that this was in the works (which is now known to have been the case for most of this year). Some of them were downright ugly toward the guy who reported the story a few weeks ago. Some vitriolic stuff came out of them. Bad form.

It's been my formal policy never to buy Swisher products for years. I do enjoy the occasional Undercrown and/or Dirty/Velvet Rat, but they have a long row to hoe for me to support them....especially after they (Swisher) formally went on record against CRA in their legislative efforts. I'm getting pissier as the moments pass....

Another blogger in a FB group I frequent made a statement referencing a comment from JD in the press release:

"we are selling our company, but not selling out" - usually (maybe not in this case) but if you have to make a statement to the fact that you aren't selling out, it usually means you are/did sell out. LOL"

I think I'm leaning toward agreeing.
Kip, let's give credit to the blog - it was The Cigar Nut. IMHO, they did a good job. They reported the story, and should be given the ultimate credit for bringing this story to the forefront. You are right - David, the owner took a lot of cr#p. He handled it real well - and took the high road. The problem became when other blogs started jumping on the rumor mill bandwagon. This was more disappointing because while Cigar Nut had legitimate sources, the rumor mill stuff was nothing more than blogs trying to be TMZ - namely hearing stuff from reps, etc.

Given Swisher is a publicly traded company, I can understand a denial. As Steve Saka said, Jonathan could have handled it better. The bottom line is that people within the Swisher / DE circle talked - and it made its way to the media realm. They should have been better prepared for the possibility of a leak - they weren't. Personally, if there was any time for Jonathan to make a video, now was the time to do it.

The fact that people are bashing this is premature. I happen to have a pretty good relationship with someone from Swisher. This is a company that gets it and understands the big picture. I think we need to see how this plays out before we judge. Everyone points to General, but here's one - did Davidoff ruin Camacho and Room 101?

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Re: It's official

Post by Cigar_Coop » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:01 pm

kurtdesign1 wrote:I don't think I have a lot of direct thoughts about the acquisition, rather some general ones about the lead up and fallout.

I'm surprised about the outpouring of hate for Swisher. Why? The more I read online, the more I realize that the biggest reason to dislike them (their opposition of CRA) is not known by many. Besides that, why the hate? Do we all not realize that the parent company of La Aurora is a major cigarette and and MM cigar manufacturer? How about the fact that DE themselves has been trying to crack SWISHER'S market for over 5 years (conservative estimate)! I personally was in their Esteli factory in early 10 and witnessed JD showing off dual shrinkwrapped ACID cigars on a cardboard backer that were intended to be sold in a drug store as competition to many of the swisher products. What about the fact that DE is primarily a flavored/infused cigar manufacturer? I read an opinion earlier that about 60% of their production was an infused product. At an annual production of 26,000,000 cigars, do you really think there are 10 1/2 million Ligas, Undercrowns, MUWATS, etc., out there? For perspective, the entire annual output of Illusione was estimated (by Dion) to be well below 500k sticks (2010 production estimate). That's AT LEAST 22x more premium DE products than Illusione on the market. I just don't buy that. If I had to guess, I'd say the "premium" market was no more than 10% of DEs production but was more like 90% of its public relations focus.

DE sold a lifestyle, a "brand" if you may. You wanted to be cool like Drew & Saka. You wanted to feel a connection as a middle class American buying cigars from middle class Americans. The fact is, a business and marketing plan was sold to the consumer, and it was sold well. It was sold REALLY well. Most people are pissed because there's a little minuscule part of them that feels betrayed. This "DE4L" slogan, or "#LetsdoitforJD", or "#Letsdoittogether" or whatever other hash tag phrases were thrown around, was a business strategy. We consumers didn't feel that included a multi-million dollar buyout when the opportunity came along. But there was no reason not to, besides our own assumptions. In fact, I seem to recall JD being vocal in support of industry members many of us would otherwise have disparaged or cast aside as non-boutique, not-passionate-enough or perhaps just not "cool" enough.

This really isn't on the remaining executives of Drew Estate at the time of sale. It's on you and me. We didn't want this to happen so we're mad that it did.

To a great many of my friends, I apologize ahead of time for what I'm about to say: Get over it.
Yep, I mean it. If you're pissed that DE sold to Swisher because it's "selling out", get over it. Be pissed that the new corporate umbrella is a company which does not support the tandem mission of the CRA and the average American cigar smoker. Be pissed that a few friends were made to look silly last month when they broke this story originally. Just DON'T be pissed that DE is going corporate. I'll tell you the best thing I can muster on the topic; they already were.
Craig, understand the CRA angle. However, this is a corporation that just payed XX millions for one of the largest private cigar manufacturers of handmade cigars Basically I think this position will change. I wouldn't be surprised if Marvin Samel's new job at Drew Estate is to focus exclusively on legislation.

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Re: It's official

Post by kurtdesign1 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:59 am

Cigar_Coop wrote: Craig, understand the CRA angle. However, this is a corporation that just payed XX millions for one of the largest private cigar manufacturers of handmade cigars Basically I think this position will change. I wouldn't be surprised if Marvin Samel's new job at Drew Estate is to focus exclusively on legislation.
Will, they'd be stupid not to change perspective considering this acquisition. I wasn't assuming one way or another. I was simply stating that demonstrating a logical point you disagree with is typically a good start when casting judgement. Quite a few of the comments being thrown about the social network landscape DID NOT do this. I'm sure you understand.

I want to be clear, my post reflected only my personal opinions about those having reactions. I did not mean to taint the points I was making with my own sway regarding the actual acquisition.

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Re: It's official

Post by Cigar_Coop » Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:23 pm

kurtdesign1 wrote:
Cigar_Coop wrote: Craig, understand the CRA angle. However, this is a corporation that just payed XX millions for one of the largest private cigar manufacturers of handmade cigars Basically I think this position will change. I wouldn't be surprised if Marvin Samel's new job at Drew Estate is to focus exclusively on legislation.
Will, they'd be stupid not to change perspective considering this acquisition. I wasn't assuming one way or another. I was simply stating that demonstrating a logical point you disagree with is typically a good start when casting judgement. Quite a few of the comments being thrown about the social network landscape DID NOT do this. I'm sure you understand.

I want to be clear, my post reflected only my personal opinions about those having reactions. I did not mean to taint the points I was making with my own sway regarding the actual acquisition.
Craig, we are in agreement on this. And I do see your point of the post. This became a lot clearer to me once I heard what you said on Episode 88 (Great job BTW)

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