The anthrax scare caused Dometic Corp. to cancel a pre-Louisville Show promotion that would have involved the mailing of a clear plastic bottle containing a written invitation along with beach sand and sea shells to 450 companies.

“We didn’t want to have a creative idea turn into a bad publicity event,” said Brad Reiners, marketing communications manager, referring to the worries people around the world now have about receiving mail containing powdery substances.

Dometic, a unit of EQT Northern Europe, will go ahead with its “Catch the Wave” theme, but instead of the bottle filled with sand, Dometic will mail the invitation along with a commemorative pin in a padded envelope, Reiners said.

The invitation encourages people to visit Dometic’s booth during the 39th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville Nov. 27-29.

Dometic, based in Elkhart, Ind., invested only around $1,000 in plastic bottles and staff time filling the bottles with playground sand that Reiners bought at a home improvement store.

Reiners and his wife gathered the sea shells during a recent vacation in Florida, he added.

Dometic might use the plastic bottles in the future, but it has no plans to include sand in a mailing.

The new environment existing as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks creates a challenge for marketers to come up with creative ideas, because they now have fewer options when doing something that is not generic, Reiners said.

Dometic is a supplier of RV awnings, air conditioners and kitchen appliances that are used in RVs.