Doing Co-Op—Without Being Co-Opted

In this day of declining margins, jewelers are hunting for bargains. And co-op advertising is, at least in theory, the biggest bargain of them all. Co-op advertising puts your store’s name in front of the public for a price that’s often only 50 percent of the price you’d otherwise pay—typically, the brand and the retailer each foots half the bill. Plus, the advertising materials often have better production values than jewelers can afford. And it can associate your store with a famous name. “In its ideal paradigm, it’s to the mutual benefit of both,” says Joanne De Ricco of New York–based Mediability Plus. So what’s not to like? In many instances, experts say, even at half the price, co-op advertising is not the steal you think. “There are many jewelers that have done a lot of co-op over the years, and it’s not been worth it for them,” says James Porte, of the

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