Mastering MAP Policies: Effective Strategies to Prevent Minimum Advertised Price Violations

Mastering MAP Policies Effective Strategies to Prevent Minimum Advertised Price Violations

The Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) is the lowest price at which a reseller can advertise a product. Manufacturers must be cautious as Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) could be illegal if overly restrictive. While manufacturers can’t dictate reseller prices, it’s common for resellers to follow a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) or Recommended Retail Price.




Manufacturers often conduct thorough market research to set product prices, recognizing the significant impact pricing has on financial outcomes. They face a delicate balancing act: pricing too low risks financial losses, while pricing too high may deter potential buyers. MAP policies provide a solution, helping manufacturers strike the right balance in pricing. This is especially crucial when offering cooperative advertising funds to resellers. This discussion focuses on effectively using MAP policies within legal boundaries.


A Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policy is a formal agreement established by a manufacturer to regulate the pricing of its products. It’s important to note that while MAP policies aim to ensure fair competition, they must avoid illegal practices such as resale price maintenance.


A well-designed MAP policy outlines the manufacturer’s strategy to enhance product value for resellers. It includes provisions for marketing support, planned pricing levels, and collaborative marketing initiatives for retailers who comply with the guidelines. Rather than solely focusing on penalties for non-compliance, the emphasis is on the benefits that adherence brings.


In today’s fiercely competitive retail environment, manufacturers are driven to maintain the perceived value and quality of their products. Implementing a MAP policy becomes essential to achieve this goal, despite potential legal implications.


A strategic MAP policy offers mutual benefits:

  • Encourages fair competition among retailers
  • Strengthens the brand by supporting resellers
  • Safeguards profit margins for all parties involved
  • Ensures consistency in product value and customer returns
  • Prevents underpricing while providing assistance to resellers in managing pricing challenges


Violation of a Minimum Advertised Price policy occurs when a reseller advertises a product below the specified price. In such cases, the manufacturer has the authority to enforce penalties as outlined in the MAP agreement.


Addressing violations typically involves:

  • Identifying non-compliant resellers
  • Issuing warnings and notifying all resellers of impending enforcement
  • Cautioning resellers to adhere to the MAP guidelines
  • Imposing penalties, such as temporary bans or blacklisting habitual violators
  • Regularly monitoring MAP prices across distribution channels to ensure compliance.




Many manufacturers create reseller policies but overlook the crucial step of ensuring retailers and resellers are informed about them.

To address this gap, manufacturers should proactively communicate their MAP policy to all resellers upfront. Utilizing automated systems like Sniffie can aid in monitoring pricing across various internet channels.

For resellers and retailers, avoiding MAP policy violations is critical. Being blacklisted by one manufacturer can lead others to follow suit, potentially halting operations and diminishing sales.

To avoid violations, it’s essential to thoroughly research and understand applicable MAP policies before signing any agreements. Ensure correct advertising and selling practices to avoid negative consequences for your business.

MAP agreements, whether termed ‘branding’ or ‘pricing’ guidelines, are legally binding and should be taken seriously. Seek legal advice if unsure about the policy’s implications.

It’s advisable for both parties to negotiate MAP policy clauses before finalizing agreements.

Internal factors such as sales pressure and ineffective communication within manufacturer teams can lead to MAP violations. Treat resellers equitably and assist them in selling excess inventory in alignment with MAP policies.

Developing a Sales Playbook can also boost sales team productivity and promote products effectively. This fosters a collaborative approach between manufacturers and resellers.

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A sales playbook typically includes:

  • Sales procedures
  • Buyer personas
  • Call agendas and scripts
  • Sample emails
  • Discovery, demo, and qualification questions
  • Proposal and competitive intelligence guidelines

These tools are essential for guiding the sales team towards achieving their targets while adhering to the principles of a MAP policy.

Additionally, leveraging software like Sniffie can provide actionable data to support decision-making. Creating real-life scenarios for the sales team helps them navigate potential MAP violations and other complications effectively.

These exercises ensure that everyone on the team understands their role in maximizing business returns, including retail/reselling partners.

Ready to enhance your MAP guidelines with Sniffie’s comprehensive suite of pricing tools? Contact us today!