The Audit Bureau of Circulations has released new guidelines to help publishers address the new rules requiring them to identify sponsors of third-party magazine sales. The new rule takes effect January 1 and requires publishers to notify recipients of sponsored copies who the purchaser is.

Publishers will be given a "transition period" to comply with the new guidelines through the first half of 2007, during which time reasonable action should be taken to "provide recipient notification from time-to-time," ABC says in the guidelines. One-hundred-percent compliance is required beginning July 1.

The guidelines posted this week on ABC’s Web site provide detailed information on individual, public place, on-site and event distribution.

Under the rule modifications adopted by ABC this year, new sponsored-sales programs must inform the recipient who the sponsor/purchaser of the subscription is, sales-agent invoices must detail purchase quantities and payment by publications, and each sponsor must outline how the purchase promotes its business and how the copies will be used. The transition period applies only to new programs that begin in 2007; current sponsored-sales programs are not subject to the new rule.