Brim's Web site, www.bfads.net or www.bf2005.com, posts advance copies of advertisements for Black Friday, the nickname for one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Brim, 18, is an electrical engineering student at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., according to published reports. He did not respond to interview requests Tuesday.
His is one of a handful of similar sites popping up to give holiday shoppers a sneak peek at upcoming sales. The elaborate circulars generally are distributed just a day or two ahead of the big day, but these sites post them days, even weeks, earlier. They presumably get leaked copies from employees or people involved in the ads' printing who don't have permission to distribute the ads.
Many retailers are furious, arguing that the sites hurt their holiday business. A few have taken legal action.
Home Depot, Sears and Kmart have taken steps to force Brim to remove their ads, according to published reports.
The concern is not about consumers seeing the ads early. Few are even paying attention, said Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group, a consumer market research firm in Charleston, S.C.
This issue is other retailers.
"A retailer who's going to have some barn-burning price on Friday doesn't want his competitor to know about it," Beemer said. "Some retailers are breathing fire over it."
In its suit, Office Depot said the ads are confidential trade secrets. The early release tips off competitors on the company's sales, giving them time to adjust their prices.
If an 18 year old can get an advance copy of your ad, why is it you think your competitors can't?
Come on, admit it. You're pissed about people's knowledge of future sales prices killing current prices on sales items….
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if ADS are confidential trade secrets then i'd hate to know what their REAL top secret stuff is classified as (national security?)…
you said it.