Video Game Carton Labeling Best Practices Standard Recommendation

October 17, 2011

To all interested parties in the video game industry:

Video Game Carton Labeling Best Practice Standard Recommendation

Retailers’ receiving docks are busy and are, In many retail environments, handling hundreds of product categories.  Backrooms can be very crowded, especially during the holidays.  Prioritizing the handing of product that requires timely attention is likely to improve in-store execution of street-dated titles and to ensure fewer out-of-stocks and lost sales.  Therefore, after many months of analysis and discussion through the supply chain, it is the recommendation of EMA’s Video Game Publishers Operations Committee that publishers adopt the following best practices:   

·         All cartons containing street dated product shipped prior to street date should contain at least one Dark Orange (Pantone 165 U) label with the words “Do Not Sell Before (Street Date)”.

·         If only one label is placed on the carton, then it should be 3”x5” and it should be placed in the top right corner of one of the shortest sides (not top or bottom) of the case. 

·         If either one or two labels are placed on the carton rounding corners, then each label should be 5”x2.5” and placed in the top right/top left corner (so that 2.5” x 2.5” is viewable on either side).  (If two are utilized, then they should be placed at opposing corners.)

This is a recommended standard and its adoption should improve supply chain efficiencies, reduce supply chain costs, and reduce retail stock-outs.  It is anticipate that, over time, publishers will gravitate toward this recommended standard.  However, it is up to partners in the supply chain to make individual decisions as to whether to support this recommendation.

Please forward this email to all appropriate colleagues.


Kurt Fischer, VP Operations, THQ and Chairman of EMA’s Video Game Publishers Operations Committee

Mark Fisher, Executive Vice-President, EMA

On behalf of the Video Game Publishers Operations Committee of the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA)

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