Print Buyers and Printers Unite in Outcry on Adobe/FedEx Kinko’s Venture

The outcry continues regarding Adobe’s announcement to put a “Send to FedEx/Kinko’s” button in Acrobat and Acrobat Reader. Everyone is very busy these days, so when 214 plus members of Print Buyers voted in last week’s PBO Print Buyer and Print Supplier Quick Polls, they spoke loudly both in terms of numbers and intensity. The consensus is that the vast majority of printers and print buyers are disappointed if not outraged by Adobe’s decision. Our polls show that 81% of print buyers and 94% of print suppliers feel that it’s inappropriate for Adobe to add a “Send to FedEx Kinko’s” button. Moreover, if you read the commentary from over 48 PBO members who wrote to summarize their views, most are M-A-D, mad. Check out their pithy comments here: Print Buyers’ Comments and Print Suppliers’ Comments.

As printers and print buyers speak out, Adobe remains quiet. Adobe’s CEO, Bruce Chizen, is scheduled to meet with industry organizations tomorrow, July 17, to discuss the issue. However, there’s been no word on whether Adobe and FedEx Kinko’s will back down from their plans. Given the highly sensitive nature of this venture, I’m surprised that one or both companies didn’t do test marketing or focus groups to understand the possible impact on their customers and their brands. While Adobe is getting the lion’s share of “badwill” on this one, FedEx Kinko’s is being bashed as well. Both Adobe and FedEx Kinko’s are great companies, but they need to step up to the plate and engage their customers at this critical time. Both would do well to have a forum where customers can express their concern. This would be an important step in hearing important feedback from customers and learning how to move forward.

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