July 1-15, 2004 Edition

BISG Task Force

Formed to Transition

From UPC to EAN Barcodes

NEW YORK, NY/6/24/04—The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has formed a task force to further explore and facilitate the transition to EAN barcodes on all books in the mass merchandise channel. This comes in response to concerns expressed in recent industry meetings about the ability of channel partners to comply with BISG’s recommendations and implementation dates related to its Product Identification Policy (

The task force will be co-chaired by Fritz Foy of Holtzbrinck Publishers and John Bohman of Random House. The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 7th at the Random House offices in NYC.

One of the objectives of the task force will be to canvass mass merch retailers and evaluate their readiness to handle EAN barcodes and other issues related to this transition. Feedback from this investigation will help identify issues requiring further work, such as database management and price changes. In addition, the team will focus on finding solutions that will aid in the adoption of the recommended standard on all books and one which will allow all partners in the supply chain to manage books at the item level, providing much more information for improved inventory management.

Requests to participate in the BISG Task Force should be emailed to