Increase in Number of Consumer Goods Manufacturers Using GS1 Databar™ Coupon Codes

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Bar Code Graphics, Inc., the largest supplier for coupon barcodes in North America, has seen a steady increase in the demand for the GS1 DataBar™ Coupon Code format as the January 2011 Sunrise Date approaches.

As the Sunrise Date rapidly nears, more coupon promotions are integrating the interim GS1 DataBar™ symbol. The first phase of the GS1 DataBar™ Coupon transition required an interim coupon format which included a UPC/EAN and a GS1 DataBar™. Beginning January 1, 2011 consumer goods manufacturers should start migrating towards the final GS1 DataBar™ coupon format, which includes only a GS1 DataBar™ barcode symbol. The interim UPC/EAN component for coupon barcodes should be eliminated after June 2011.

Although there has been an increase in coupons carrying GS1 DataBar™ barcodes, many top brands have run coupon promotions with barcode symbols which did not comply with the published GS1 guidelines. Once the UPC/EAN component is removed, unscannable coupons will cause major disruptions at point of sale and coupon clearing. Since GS1 DataBar™ coupons do not display all encoded data in human readable form, cashiers will not be able to adequately process non-compliant coupons. In addition, brand owners will be liable for hard-to-handle fees levied by coupon clearing companies. Many designers, software companies, and barcode providers have not followed the North American Coupon Application Guidelines using GS1 DataBar™ Expanded Symbols. In many instances barcode symbol sizing and format have been altered without consideration to final coupon scanning performance.

“Many services which provide coupon barcodes use terms such as ‘flawless’, ‘high precision’, or ‘perfect’. These are simply subjective marketing terms with no substantiating evidence of accuracy”, said Andrew Verb, President. “In order to distinguish the accuracy of our provided .eps digital barcode files, we submitted our application to GS1 US for software certification.” Bar Code Graphics received GS1 US certification in 2005 for their barcode engine (PrecisionCode) which powers This application is the only software to ever receive certification to produce digital barcode files which adhere to GS1 and ISO barcode standards.

In today's digital world, quality control for barcode symbols is challenging. It is crucial for users throughout print production to be able to validate and check the quality of digital barcode files. The EPS Validator website,, will display the barcode language, encoded data, sizing, and bar width adjustment of any barcode file (.eps) created from Bar Code Graphics' GS1 certified application (PrecisionCode). For GS1 DataBar™ Coupon barcodes, the EPS Validator will also provide an instant breakdown of the complex coupon data string. Since this type of barcode contains an extraordinary amount of data and does not display all the encoded characters in human readable form, the EPS Validator expanded functionality is an invaluable proofing tool. The EPS Validator is web based and requires no additional software installation. Users simply need to upload a provided digital barcode and the results are displayed instantly. Furthermore, subscriptions are not required so anyone involved in a barcode print job can easily check provided digital barcode files for free.

To assist clients for the coupon changes, Bar Code Graphics launched as an educational resource for GS1 Databar™ information. "The traffic for that site has seen an increase in visitors in the past few months", says Brenda Rachal, Marketing Manager. "The site offers complimentary encoder and decoder pages for the GS1 DataBar™ Coupon. The data component for this new coupon format is extremely elaborate and potentially lengthy (up to 72 characters). Consequently, it is totally unrealistic to generate these types of symbols from a desktop application due to the data entry complexities."

About Bar Code Graphics

Since the inception of the UPC, Bar Code Graphics has been a major provider of barcode artwork and is recognized as one the leading authorities on barcode print quality. For the past seven years Bar Code Graphics has been extensively involved in all of the technical work groups focusing on this new barcode language and coupon format. Bar Code Graphics is also the largest North American testing center for barcode evaluations and administers barcode compliance for many of the top US retailers.

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