Discussion FAQs

To provide constructive guidance to participants who wish to share industry information on the Promo Connect within legal boundaries, PPAI has developed the following set of frequently asked questions (FAQs):

Q: What kinds of information can be exchanged on Promo Connect?

A: Members may exchange most information that is beneficial to participants but must avoid discussions that involve 1) regulating prices or quantities of goods or services, 2) allocating customers or territories, 3) hindering or limiting a competitor or potential competitor’s operations or 4) otherwise unreasonably restraining business activities. A copy of the Community Guidelines may be found here.

Q: What should I avoid in Promo Connect discussions?

A: Messages should not be posted if they encourage or facilitate members to arrive at any agreement that either expressly or implicitly leads to price fixing, a boycott of another's business, or other conduct intended to illegally restrict free trade. Messages that encourage or facilitate an agreement about the following subjects are inappropriate: prices, discounts, or terms or conditions of sale; salaries; profits, profit margins, or cost data; market shares, sales territories, or markets; allocation of customers or territories; or selection, rejection, or termination of customers or suppliers.

Q: What are some tips for posting questions or comments?

A: Here are some etiquette tips on posts and replies:

  • Include a signature tag on all messages. Include your name, affiliation, location.
  • State concisely and clearly the topic of your comments in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject.
  • Include only the relevant portions of the original message in your reply. Delete any header information, and put your response before the original posting.
  • Only send a message to the entire discussion group when it contains information from which everyone may benefit.
  • Send messages such as "thanks for the information" or "me, too" to individuals--not to the entire group. Do this by using the "Reply to Sender" link to the left of every message.
  • Do not send administrative messages, such as "remove me from the group". Instead, go to your Profile to change your settings or to remove yourself from a group.
  • Warn other discussion group subscribers of lengthy messages either in the subject line or at the beginning of the message body with a line that says, "Long Message."

Q: Is it OK to discuss pricing?

  1. PPAI has developed the following guidelines on discussion of pricing and fees:
  2. There should be no discussion of:
  3. the pricing/fees set by suppliers or distributors
  4. actual or implicit agreements between suppliers and distributors
  5. supplier/distributor profit margins

 

  1. There should be no discussion suggesting that PPAI can or should negotiate fees on behalf of members.
  2. There should be no discussion of specific economic factors that would allow suppliers/ distributors to ascertain rates charged by competing suppliers/distributors such as:
  3. levels of profit margins or mark ups
  4. detailed discussion of specific costs of operations, supplies, labor or services that would allow a supplier/distributor to ascertain what rates are charged by competing suppliers/ distributors.

It is appropriate, however, to discuss methods of operation and similar matters that may assist suppliers/distributors in practicing more efficiently and effectively, provided the discussion does not influence pricing, etc.

  1. There should be no discussions that state or imply that distributors should boycott or otherwise agree or act together to not participate with a particular supplier, and vice versus. This rule applies even if the boycott is based on factors other than fees. Each member should make his/her own decisions regarding the suppliers or distributors with which they will participate.
  2. It is a violation of antitrust laws to agree not to compete. Thus, discussions of division of territories or customers, or limitations on the nature of business carried on or services provided are not permitted.

It is the policy of the PPAI to comply with antitrust laws, and these guidelines and terms of use are intended to facilitate PPAI’s long-standing policy to encourage competition within the industry and to avoid violation of applicable antitrust laws. Upon learning of any discussions that violate these policies, PPAI will take appropriate corrective action as PPAI deems appropriate, including deletion of the violating discussion and posts and prohibition of repeat or egregious violators.

If you believe that this policy is being violated, please contact Melissa Weber, Knowledge Community Manager at melissaw@ppai.org or 972-258-3014.