Minimum Advertised Prices Definition

When you sell products, it’s important to know about Minimum Advertised Prices (MAP). MAP is a rule that some manufacturers and suppliers set for how low a retailer can advertise a product’s price. In this article, we will learn what Minimum Advertised Prices are, why they are important, and how they affect businesses and customers.

What Are Minimum Advertised Prices (MAP)?

Minimum Advertised Prices (MAP) are the lowest prices that retailers are allowed to show when advertising a product. These MAP monitoring software should be set by the manufacturer or supplier. For example, if a manufacturer sets a MAP of $50 for a product, retailers cannot advertise that product for less than $50. This rule applies to all forms of advertising, including online ads, flyers, and in-store signs.

Why Do Manufacturers Use MAP?

Manufacturers use MAP for several reasons. Here are some of the main ones:

Protect Brand Image

Manufacturers want to protect the image of their brand. If a product is advertised at a very low price, it might make the product look cheap or low-quality. By setting a MAP, manufacturers ensure that their products are not advertised at prices that could hurt their brand image.

Ensure Fair Competition

MAP helps ensure fair competition among retailers. If one retailer advertises a product at a very low price, other retailers might struggle to compete. MAP prevents this by setting a level playing field for all retailers.

Maintain Profit Margins

Manufacturers want to make sure that retailers can make a profit on their products. If a product is advertised at a very low price, retailers might not make enough money. MAP helps retailers maintain healthy profit margins.

How Does MAP Affect Retailers?

MAP has a big impact on how retailers advertise and sell products. Here are some ways MAP affects retailers:

Advertising Rules

Retailers must follow MAP rules when advertising products. They cannot show prices lower than the MAP set by the manufacturer. This means they need to be careful about how they display prices in ads, on their websites, and in their stores.

Price Matching

Some retailers offer price-matching guarantees. This means they will match the price if a customer finds a lower price elsewhere. With MAP, retailers can still offer price matching, but they cannot advertise a price below the MAP.

Promotions and Sales

Retailers often run promotions and sales to attract customers. With MAP, they need to make sure that their sale prices do not go below the MAP.


They can still offer discounts, but they need to be creative about how they advertise them.

How Does MAP Affect Customers?

MAP can also affect customers in several ways. Here are some examples:

Price Consistency

With MAP, customers will see consistent prices for the same product across different retailers. This can make it easier for customers to compare prices and choose where to buy.

Perceived Value

When products are advertised at consistent prices, it can help maintain the perceived value of the products. Customers might see the product as high-quality and worth the price.

Limited Discounts

Customers might find fewer extreme discounts on products with MAP. While retailers can still offer discounts, they cannot advertise prices below the MAP. This means customers might not find as many deep discounts on these products.

Examples of MAP in Action

Here are some examples of how MAP works in real life:


Many electronics manufacturers use MAP. For example, a popular smartphone brand might set a MAP of $300 for one of its models. All retailers must advertise the smartphone for at least $300. They cannot show it for less in their ads, even if they sell it for a lower price in the store.

Sports Equipment

Sports equipment manufacturers often use MAP to protect their brands and ensure fair competition. For example, a tennis racket manufacturer might set a MAP of $100 for a new model. Retailers must advertise the tennis racket at $100 or more.

Luxury Goods

Luxury goods manufacturers, like those making designer bags or watches, use MAP to maintain their high-end image. For example, a designer bag might have a MAP of $500. Retailers must advertise the bag at $500 or higher to protect the brand’s luxury status.

Benefits of MAP for Manufacturers and Retailers

MAP provides several benefits for both manufacturers and retailers. Here are some key advantages:

Brand Protection

MAP helps protect the brand image by preventing products from being advertised at very low prices. This ensures that the products are seen as high-quality and valuable.

Fair Competition

MAP creates a level playing field for all retailers. It prevents one retailer from undercutting others with very low advertised prices, ensuring fair competition.

Stable Profit Margins

MAP helps retailers maintain stable profit margins. By preventing very low advertised prices, retailers can make sure they earn enough money from each sale.

Challenges of MAP

While MAP has many benefits, it also comes with some challenges. Here are a few:


It can be challenging for manufacturers to enforce MAP. They need to monitor retailers to make sure they are following the rules. This can be time-consuming and require resources.

Retailer Relationships

MAP can sometimes create tension between manufacturers and retailers.


Retailers might want to advertise lower prices to attract customers, but they have to follow the MAP rules set by the manufacturer.

Customer Perception

Customers might feel frustrated if they see similar prices everywhere and cannot find big discounts. This can make it harder for retailers to attract price-sensitive customers.

How to Implement MAP

If you are a manufacturer or supplier and want to implement MAP, here are some steps you can follow:

Step Description
1. Set Clear MAP Policies Create detailed policies outlining the minimum advertised prices for your products and the rules retailers must follow regarding MAP.
2. Communicate with Retailers Share your MAP policies with all retailers who sell your products. Ensure they fully understand the rules and the importance of adhering to them.
3. Monitor Compliance Regularly monitor retailers’ advertised prices online and in-store to check for compliance with your MAP policies. Use monitoring tools and software to assist with this process.
4. Take Action If you discover a retailer violating your MAP policies, take appropriate action. This could include issuing warnings, stopping product shipments, or terminating the business relationship with the non-compliant retailer.


Minimum Advertised Prices (MAP) are rules set by manufacturers that determine the lowest prices retailers can advertise for their products. MAP helps protect brand image, ensure fair competition, and maintain profit margins. While MAP provides many benefits, it also comes with challenges like enforcement and customer perception. By understanding MAP and how it works, manufacturers, retailers, and customers can navigate the market more effectively. Whether you are a manufacturer looking to protect your brand or a retailer trying to stay competitive, knowing about MAP is important.