CEA Chides Vizio Over CES PulloutFebruary 10, 2014 By Stephen Silver
Vizio sent a release to the media last week announcing that 2014 would mark the final time the company would hold a showcase during International CES. After a show at which Vizio's new HDTV models collected several awards and "best of" designations from the likes of Digital Trends, Wired and The Verge, Vizio said it will henceforth switch to announcing products on its own timetable, while also adjusting its showcases to "more intimate venues for its partners, customers and press."
There's just one problem: According to CEA, Vizio was never officially a CES exhibitor.
As it did several times in recent years, Vizio in 2014 presented its showcase in the Wynn Las Vegas, a non-official CES venue, during the week of the show, a practice known as "outboarding."
"Vizio’s claim that they are withdrawing their participation from CES is misleading," a spokesperson for the Consumer Electronics Association, the owner and producer of the show, told Dealerscope after we wrote about Vizio's announcement
"Vizio was not an official exhibitor at the 2014 International CES. In fact, Vizio held exhibits off-site of official 2014 CES properties, qualifying the company as an 'outboarder,' and in violation of CEA’s membership policy."
The Vizio release refers to the company's "yearly showcase during the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show," its final "CES week showcase" and "a number of successful showcases during CES."
In 2011, Vizio showed its products in the second-floor entry of the South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, but that was considered "promotional space" rather than exhibit space, according to the company's spokesman.
CEA added that Vizio is welcome to participate in future CES events.
Vizio did not respond to a request for official comment in response to CEA's statement.