Parts, Drag enacts stricter dealer advertising policy

Publish Date: 
Sep 17, 2009
By Arlo Redwine

STARTING NEXT MONTH, LeMans, the holding company for Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties, will forbid its dealers to insinuate in advertising that they sell its house brands for below suggested retail. No longer will retailers be allowed to circumvent the distributor’s current MAP policy through methods such as “Click for Price” links.

Dealers first learned of the new advertising policy in mid-May, but it goes live Oct. 1. It does not apply to in-store advertising. The policy covers the following brands: AMS Tires, Arctiva, Baron, Drag Specialties, ICON, LeMans, Moose, Moose ATV Hunting Products, Moose Racing, Moose Utility Division, Parts Unlimited, Python, Rinehart, Rinehart Racing, Slippery, Thor, Trukke, Wingleader and Z1R.

After stating that no advertising, whether printed, audio, video or electronic, may promote the above products for below MSRP, the new policy states: “Advertising practices that have the effect of reducing the advertised price below the level in the above Advertising Policy, such as, for example, combining a product carrying a LeMans Mark or trade name with a ‘free’ product or in a ‘package’ with other products or with a discount coupon or promotional code and discounts with membership, also violate the Advertising Policy. Advertisements containing phrases such as ‘click for price,’ ‘e-mail for price,’ ‘e-mail for best offer,’ ‘call for price,’ or other similar phrases implies that the price will be below the suggested retail price and is a violation of the Advertising Policy.”

The policy continues, “Advertisements that offer discounts must specifically and conspicuously exclude the Products. An advertisement that offers or implies a price other than the suggested retail price on trademarked products will be in violation of the Advertising Policy.”

The new policy applies to print ads, radio ads, newsletters, TV ads, outside signs, catalogs, letters, e-mails, websites, online auctions, and so on. It applies to both current and noncurrent items. According to the policy, if LeMans discounts its dealer price on noncurrent inventory, it will also reduce the suggested retail price. Dealers can then advertise these products using the lowered MSRPs, as long as the advertising states that the products are noncurrent. Also, LeMans says that “from time to time,” it will indicate to dealers that products are no longer subject to the Advertising Policy. It will do so on PartsNetWeb and DragNetWeb by placing an “N/A” in the suggested retail price field.