Thursday, February 09, 2006

MAP – Minimum Advertised Pricing

At this writing, February ’06, the individuals and companies that bring you color, brushes and surfaces are embroiled in a debate about MAP – Minimum Advertised Prices. We are having an important dialogue.

Some manufacturers (and we support these manufacturers) feel the excessive discounting damages the reputation of their products. It makes them look cheap.

The also feel that this deep discounting will centralize distribution. Only the most efficient, the Wal-Marts, will survive and the smaller retailers will fail.

As the retail distribution becomes more focused the few big survivors can dictate terms and smaller manufacturers will be pushed aside and the manufacturing base may slip away to china where manufacturing is cheapest.

Right now we have a healthy art material trade. but there are indicators that the above fears are becoming reality. As one of your retailers I am pleased to offer you a variety of colors and materials available from many continents – an industry that draws on efficiency and also traditions.

We will continue to present value and diversity to the best of our ability. We will also support MAP which proposes to allow all manufacturers a modest profit, all retailers a modest profit and the most efficient of those manufacturers and retailers a more than modest return.

As an aside, Golden Acrylics has cut off Jerry’s Artarama because Jerry’s allegedly violated Goldens Minimum Advertised Price program. Even though MAP programs have been in our trade for a time, this is the 1st time a major manufacturer has refused to supply a major customer for violations of minimum pricing guidelines.

We hope that Mark Golden's brave effort to protect his brand’s reputation does not result in lawsuits and excess harm. We do hope that Jerry’s will respect Golden Acrylic’s well earned reputation for quality and that a normal business relationship will resume.