In a move designed to keep the integrity of the pricing of its products sacrosanct, Oxbow Animal Health, which manufactures food, litter, bedding, supplements and accessories for small, exotic pets, has initiated a minimum advertised price (MAP) policy for the majority of its products.
“Preserving the integrity of the Oxbow Animal Health brand benefits all of our partners and customers,” said Jeremy Baker, Oxbow’s director of sales and distribution.
Specifically, the MAP policy states that Oxbow will only sell to authorized dealers who advertise Oxbow products at or above the minimum advertised prices defined by the Murdock, Neb.-based company.
“The implementation of a MAP policy helps us protect and maintain our strong brand recognition and value, while also protecting … our partners’ ability to offer our products competitively,” Baker added.
This includes the many small animal veterinarians (those who see rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, gerbils, hamsters and even tortoises and iguanas) who display and sell Oxbow products to their customers at checkout.
Some of the most popular Oxbow products with these veterinarians, Baker said, include assist-feeding formulas Critical Care, Critical Care Fine Grind and Carnivore Care (all of which are not subject to MAP) and Western Timothy Hay, Natural Science Vitamin C Support, Essentials—Adult Rabbit Food and Organic Barley Biscuits, all of which do fall under the MAP initiative.
When asked if the new policy was in response to distributor, dealer and reseller complaints, Baker said that was not the case; rather, it was Oxbow being “proactive” to “ensure equal competition as well as protect the premium value of our brand and products.”
Of course, a policy is only as good as the enforcement backing it.
“Our MAP policy was built with the guidelines of retail industry best practices, and we’ve invested in the appropriate resources, including industry-leading software, to execute enforcement moving forward,” Baker said.
The new policy went into effect Jan. 30, 2017, and applies to all authorized dealers, distributors and resellers of Oxbow products.
“An important element of this task involves the preservation of a fair marketplace, one where the integrity and value of our products are carefully and thoughtfully preserved,” Baker said.
Originally published in the March 2017 issue of Veterinary Practice News. Did you enjoy this article? Then subscribe today!