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Newspaper Association of America Circulation Federation Council. Audit Bureau of Circulations Rules Update Spring 2009. Discussion Items. Timeline for rule implementations Strategic questions to consider Where to direct your questions. Rules Effective October 1, 2008.

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newspaper association of america circulation federation council

Newspaper Association of AmericaCirculation Federation Council

Audit Bureau of Circulations

Rules Update

Spring 2009

discussion items
Discussion Items
  • Timeline for rule implementations
  • Strategic questions to consider
  • Where to direct your questions
rules effective october 1 2008
Rules Effective October 1, 2008
  • Day of week reporting becomes optional for newspapers with total average paid circulation less than 50,000
  • Newspapers with a total paid average circulation less than 50,000 can opt for every-other-year ABC audits
rules effective april 1 2009
Rules Effective April 1, 2009
  • Change the qualification of paid circulation to one cent of more per subscription or single copy.
  • Frequency changes (upgrades) no longer require subscribers consent in advance provided the following requirements are met:
    • Notify subscriber on day one of upgrade
    • Notification advises subscriber of changes and provides clear opt out instructions
    • Upgraded delivery term is at least 12 weeks
    • If subscriber opts out within 12 weeks, all previously served copies must not be counted as paid
    • Advertisers must be notified 120 days in advance through ABC’ Web Site
    • Must have explanatory paragraph on all ABC reports
april 1 2009 continued
April 1, 2009 Continued
  • Newspapers may eliminate a frequency and “force” convert all of those subscribers to new frequency provided the following criteria are met:
    • Change must be incorporated in all sales material no later than 30 days prior to first delivery of new frequency
    • All frequency changes must be applied to a defined geographic area
    • The discontinued frequency can not be reinstated within the affected geography for 6 months
    • All affected households must receive clear and conspicuous notice of the change
    • No inference can be made that the change is temporary
april 1 2009 continued6
April 1, 2009 Continued
  • New joint distribution agreements must give subscribers the opportunity to opt out
  • Existing joint distribution agreements will be “grandfathered in” and the circulation will continue to count as paid
  • Same city reciprocity for omitted days eliminated
october 1 2010
October 1, 2010
  • Revise definition of paid circulation to a more straight forward one that clearly represents payment by an individual reader or specialized distribution channel
  • Implement Paid/Verified model
    • Circulation that does not meet the new definition of paid will be classified as “verified”
    • Examples of Verified Circulation include NIE, third-party sales and newspaper employees
october 1 2010 continued
October 1, 2010 Continued
  • Create new “business traveler” paid category to cover copies bought by or for hotel guests
  • ABC reports modified to include total average circulation in paragraph 1
  • ABC reports modified to change paragraph 1A to include individually paid, paid business traveler and verified
  • Most geographical reporting becomes optional
october 1 20109
October 1, 2010
  • Phase out Bonus Days
    • Bonus days will be phased out of paid over 2 years
    • Beginning 1/1/2011 all new bonus days become verified circulation
    • Through 2011 the current rule will remain in effect with the following conditions:
      • All bonus days must be posted on ABC web site 120 in advance
      • Posting must include date and number of copies
      • Failure to post eliminates circulation from paid
bonus days continued
Bonus Days Continued
  • A max of 50 bonus days can be claimed as paid for the 12 month period covering the 9/09 and 3/10 publishers statements
  • A max of 25 bonus days can be claimed as paid for the 12 month period covering the 9/10 and 3/11 publishers statements
  • 4/1/11 all bonus days become verified
strategic questions to consider
Strategic Questions to Consider
  • How much cheap or free circulation can you really afford?
  • Can your newspaper sell enough incremental advertising to justify free or cheap circulation? Can you even cover the cost of printing and distribution?
  • If you do offer cheap or free subscriptions, how will your full priced subscribers react?
  • Does your Newspapers in Education program still make sense?
questions continued
Questions Continued
  • How will you or your competition take advantage of the opt out upgrades?
  • Can you reduce your distribution footprint and improve your core market penetration with cheap or free circulation?
  • Has someone from your circulation team explained the new ABC rules and their potential impact to your advertising department leadership?
  • How will flexible pricing affect the balance of large and small newspapers?
questions continued13
Questions Continued
  • How will your advertising department sell paid versus verified circulation and what will the impact be on preprint advertising?
  • Will you take advantage of the new paid circulation category of “business traveler”? If so, how?
  • Do you really understand all the new ABC rules and who will you turn to for interpretation?
where to direct questions

Where to Direct Questions

Newspaper Association of America

John Murray, Vice President Audience Metrics


Audit Bureau of Circulations


NAA Circulation Federation Council

Dan Schaub, President