NEW YORK—Luxottica is undertaking a series of activities to "protect the reputation" of its Ray-Ban brand, the company said, including establishing a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policy for Ray-Ban, which becomes effective for its wholesale and retail customers (including its own retail brands) on April 4 in the U.S. and Canada. The company started to communicate the new MAP approach to accounts this month, a Luxottica spokesperson told VMail.

In short, the MAP policy prohibits wholesale customers from advertising Ray-Ban products in their stores at a deep discount. It does not set a minimum price that the product is sold to consumers. Both brick and mortar and e-commerce customers will be required to adhere to the policy.

A Luxottica spokesperson said, "The MAP policy applies to our wholesale customers, and also to our own retail businesses as well. So Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Target Optical and Sears Optical will all be adhering to the policy."

In its communication, the company said, "Luxottica has built a strong consumer following for our brands, most notably, Ray-Ban, and has established a quality distribution network that actively represents and promotes our products to end consumers. Luxottica actively supports the advertising and promotion of its products by providing marketing and promotional materials at no or nominal cost. This MAP policy has been established to enhance our existing efforts, to protect the legacy of Ray-Ban and to share the benefits of that legacy with our partners."

The MAP policy "effectively prohibits any advertising or marketing that may adversely diminish, detract and/or damage the value of the products. If a retailer advertises Ray-Ban product in a manner inconsistent with this MAP policy, Luxottica may unilaterally cease its business relationship with such retailer."

The policy states that “MAP applies only to advertised prices and does not apply to the price at which the products are actually sold or offered for sale.

Luxottica has also taken other steps to preserve the brand equity of Ray-Ban, the company spokesperson told VMail. In 2015, the company collaborated with law enforcement and customs to seize 4.8 million units of counterfeit Ray-Ban.

Also last year, the company closed over 17,000 websites and removed 375,000 marketplace listings selling counterfeit products or violating its trademarks.

The spokesperson added that the company began working more closely with Internet sellers to weed out fake/subpar Ray-Bans from being either promoted or sold on their platforms.

Fabrizio Uguzzoni, president of LuxotticaWholesale NA, told VMail, “Ray-Ban is one of the most recognizable consumer brands in the world. We could lean on the equity we’ve built to date, but we’re in it for the long-term and that requires a bigger commitment from us. Today, we’re right up there with Apple, Coca Cola and Google as one of the most loved brands, especially among Millennials. And we want to keep it that way.”