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Don’t leave money on the table: Explore co-op advertising

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in Small Business Tax

If you want a bigger bang for your advertising dollars, consider partnering with a larger company when creating print, radio or TV advertisements.

U.S. companies budget $30 billion to partner with small businesses in so-called co-op advertising programs, but a significant amount of that money goes unused, according to the Yellow Pages Publishers Association.

Co-op ads can save you up to 50 percent on advertising costs, plus they let you feature creative ads that might otherwise be too expensive.

How co-op ad programs work: Manufacturers and suppliers pay for part or all of the cost of an ad. In return, your retail or service business agrees to prominently feature the manufacturer's name and product in the advertisement.

Manufacturers and suppliers set guidelines for the ads and have final approval. They also use ad agencies to develop logos, scripts and other materials that businesses can use.

Advice: Ask your manufacturers and suppliers whether they have co-op advertising programs. If so, obtain a copy of the guidelines. Don’t hesitate to negotiate ad payment and reimbursement rates.

Online resource: Learn more about coop advertising and obtain a copy of the Yellow Pages Association CO-OP Advertising Programs handbook, which contains plans from more than 1,000 manufacturers, at ( click on “Products & Services” and then “YPA Co-op Information”).

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