Your Roadmap to an Effective MAP Policy

Online BusinessThe main objective of a MAP (minimum advertising price) policy is to ensure your retailers will deliver the highest service level when presenting your services or products. It is crucial that you establish and implement your MAP policy with utmost care.

PriceManager shares the guidelines to get you started:

• Your MAP policy must clearly state that it does not restrict the rights of resellers to set their own prices, excluding advertised rates. These include provisions for online resellers that will enable them to advertise their pricing in different ways—“Add to Cart” or “Call for Price”—as these are crucial elements of a MAP policy.

• Your policy must state that it is unilateral and cannot be constituted as an agreement. Issues may arise when traditional retailers support or encourage your MAP policy. You must resist implementing a MAP policy that responds to these types of claims from resellers concerning another competitor.

• Experts on MAP policy enforcement agree that resellers are likely to follow advertising limitations when the product manufacturer is funding the advertising, whether partially or entirely. The decision is up to when it comes to the source of funds prior to the implementation of your MAP limitations.

• Your MAP policy must be easy to understand. Include a clear and concise FAQ guide for further clarifications—provide a clause on manufacturer-imposed requirements. In addition, a MAP policy that applies to different types of advertising is likely to be more effective than a policy that solely applies to Internet resellers.

Some Important Things to Ponder

While establishing and implementing your MAP policy is a step in the right direction, don’t think the process ends there. Inconsistent enforcement of your MAP policy can potentially damage your business. For example, if your policy isn’t clear and has for loopholes, you may damage your business relationship with non-compliant retailers or even face litigation.

To prevent issues, consider hire an antitrust attorney to help you with the enactment of your MAP policy and an online service that helps you monitor the products’ prices advertised online.