The well respected US climbing magazine, ´Climbing´ has announced a ban on all adverts by dot.com retailers who dare to compete on price. In an editorial by former editor, now top man at rival publication Rock and Ice, Duane Raleigh has declared a jihad on discount gear retailers who are threatening to put American climbing shops out of business. Citing fears of loss of personal advice, and dontaions to the access fund, this is really a protectionist move that can only spark the same cries of hyporcrisy that the world´s ´champion of free trade´ received over it´s protectionist measures taken to support its outdated steel industry. Clearly, dot.coms have always been a thorn in the side of Climbing magazine, and it is long been the policy to pretend they weren´t there: „We didn´t want to draw attention to a problem that, if escalated, could upend the U.S. climbing economy“. This move is clearly unjustfied. It can only harm the free market, the good will within the small climbing economy, and the interests of climbers in the US. It is not clear whether this ´moratorium´, as it was called, will follow Duane Raleigh to his new post at Rock and Ice, but what is clear is that if you want the biggest choice, and the keenest prices, you´d better stay online, and that´s official!
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