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Adobe takes heat from printing-industry execs over "Send to FedEx Kinko's" menu item in Acrobat and Reader

July 27, 2007 — Adobe held a meeting in San Francisco last week to address fallout from the recently announced and controversial collaboration between Adobe and FedEx Kinko's. At the meeting, printing-industry executives put strong pressure on Adobe to remove the "Send to FedEx Kinko's" menu item from the "File" menu in the Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader applications. (Click here for related story.)

A report from GraphicArts Monthly says that the meeting was attended by more than two dozen top printing-industry executives. High-level people from every major print franchise were in attendance, as were executives from US-based printing associations representing commercial printers (PIA/GATF, NAPL/ NAQP, IPA) and in-plant printers (IPMA, ACUP).

According to a recent In-Plant Graphics report, Bruce Chizen, Adobe's CEO, "sincerely apologized for what he acknowledged was a major goof," and printing-industry executives stated in no uncertain terms that the only remedy acceptable to them would be the removal of the "Send to FedEx Kinko's" menu item from Acrobat & Reader.

Johnny Loiacono, an Adobe vice president, has admitted in his blog that the printing-industry representatives at the meeting were very tough on Adobe. Loiacono has also been straightforward about flaws in the process that led to the decision to incorporate the "Send to FedEx Kinko's" menu item into recent releases of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, stating that Adobe should have had discussions with print-industry leaders before moving forward with that plan.

According to several reports, Adobe representatives said that Adobe would re-evaluate the implementation of the FedEx Kinko's service in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, would explore options for making print-service providers more discoverable in Adobe?s creative products, and would investigate a plan that would allow printers to distribute a branded plug-in to their customers. However, the Adobe officials stopped short of saying that Adobe would remove the "Send to FedEx Kinko's" menu item from Acrobat & Reader.

The In-Plant Graphics report states that "The company?s chief concern seemed to be that removing the link would breach its contract with FedEx Kinko?s."

The In-Plant Graphics report also says that several meeting attendees were concerned that Adobe might have missed their point, and the report goes on to say that NAPL and NAQP reiterated their position in a letter to Adobe a few days after the meeting. Their letter states that "Adobe should extricate itself from the agreement and remove the FedEx Kinko?s logo and embedded link from Adobe software in a timely manner."

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