NEW YORK — Disputing Barnesandnoble.com's claim that "If we don't have your book nobody does," a division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has called for the online superstore to discontinue or modify the slogan.
"If you were to interpret the slogan literally, it would discourage searches from other sources," Nicholas Vianna, advertising review specialist with the group's National Advertising Division, said Tuesday. "In the book industry, there are private books, local publishers, all kinds of books. Some of the independent sellers make their livelihood on that special niche market."
The American Booksellers Assn., which filed a complaint last December, compiled a list of 100 out-of-print titles and found 24 that were available only through competitors of Barnesandnoble.com. They included such obscure works as "Cartels, Combines & Trusts in Post-War Germany" and "Studies in Machiavellianism."
"A lot of independent booksellers complained because that slogan just wasn't accurate," said Richard Howorth, president of the ABA, whose membership consists overwhelmingly of independent stores.