Adobe-FedEx Kinko’s Brouhaha

There has been quite a brouhaha this week in the printing industry after Adobe announced that it is adding a “send to FedEx Kinko’s” button in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader. Industry associations NAPL and PIA/GATF have been unusually vocal and quick to admonish Adobe. They claim the button creates an unfair business advantage to FedEx Kinko’s and are concerned that document owners, creatives and print buyers would choose FedEx Kinko’s for printing, instead of going through the normal process of choosing a print supplier.

Indeed, the button would make choosing FedEx Kinko’s easy. However, I’m not sure how much of a real threat the button is to printers. I think print buyers and document owners will mostly ignore the button, unless they are planning on buying from FedEx Kinko’s or are curious about their services. What concerns me is that the button is in essence a promotion for the printing/shipping conglomerate. A creative software company, such as Adobe, should be ‘Switzerland’ – neutral to the selection of the print provider. Either that or open it up to other advertisers.

For more industry scoop, see PIA/GATF’s response to Adobe’s decision, here, and be sure to cast your vote about this issue in Print Buyers’s print buyer or print supplier quick polls. Most important: Tell us what you think. Is it appropriate for Adobe to give any single print supplier a competitive advantage? If Adobe and FedEx move forward with their plan, will it affect what you buy and your use of Adobe’s software? Does this affect Adobe’s integrity?

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  • http://MikeLennon Mike Lennon

    It is not appropriate for a provider such as Adobe to align themselves with a single printer, regardless of who it is. Our industry is a large supporter of Adobe which translates into large profits for them. They should know better – it is definately a conflict. Would our industry groups boycott Adobe? I doubt it, too inconvenient, but heads would roll at Adobe headquarters for sure if it happened. Wise up Adobe and stay neutral!

  • http://GeorgeH.Loughborough George H. Loughborough

    It is a poor business decision to favor one printer over another. It parallels a wholsale supplier going after their customers-customer after doing a printing job for them. It is not the action of a honest business person.

  • http://ElliotThostesen Elliot Thostesen

    What Adobe should have done is create a user adjustable button that can be easily programed to any printers digital file transfer system or directly into any printers digital workflow. That way everyone has an opportunity to make the process smoother for all customers

  • http://CoreyMcGrath Corey McGrath

    Are we 100% certain that Adobe has not set this up as a revenue sharing deal? It is extremely trackable what converts to an order through this process. This may just may be about dollars and cents. Does anyone have details on this?

  • http://MichaelFullerton Michael Fullerton

    It is not appropriate for Adobe to act in this manner. As a software company with a monopoly, Adobe aligning them selves with a single or any company is not in its best interest. Our industry is a LARGE user of Adobe products. They should know better – it is definitely a conflict. Would our industry groups boycott Adobe? IF IT CAME TO IT I THINK AS AN INDUSTRY WE WOULD DELAY PURCHASING NEW RELEASES OF THERE SOFTWARE. WE NEVER EXPERIENCED CORPORATE GREED IN OUR WORLD BUT IT HAS REARED ITS UGLY HEAD. Wise up Adobe if 20,000 users of photo shop<br />

  • http://ElliotThostesen Elliot Thostesen

    I find it interesting to see how many "real" printers think that FedEx Kinko’s is such a great competitor. If all it takes is one button to lose your account base then you have not been working very hard to manage your customer, your workflow and your technology. When you break down the decision tree to it’s component parts, I am sure that any printer worth their value will find that their quality, quality of service and the total price of a project will normally outperfrom that from any retail outlet 8 out of 10 times. If not, then you have more to worry about then one little button.

  • http://JimRobertson Jim Robertson

    The point is not that they are going to steal our existing customers. It is that we as an industry worked to create the PDF as the de facto standard and now our "partner" is choosing sides. Just like when Xerox started opening in-house plants in competition with its customers, I will promise you that I will attempt not to use Adobe’s products as best as I possibly can from this point forward. I hope creating all of this bad blood was worth it.