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BPA Modifies Public Place Reporting for Consumer Mags, Creates New Rules



By Linda Zebian
12/27/2006

BPA Worldwide's Board of Directors voted to clarify reporting of public place copies for consumer magazines, including removing the category from the "Average Qualified Circulation" and "How Ordered" breakouts at its December meeting. Additional reporting of public place copies will now be required within the breakout of Qualified Circulation including separate reporting by single or multiple public placed copies and for those copies were paid for by a third party.

Rules were also modified regarding Multiple Copy-Same Addressee Circulation copies distributed in bulk to issue agreements for locations under their control. Documentation for audit must include a signed agreement with the central office, a list of all locations where copies will be sent, full addresses, telephone numbers, the quantity per location and the contact person at the location.

An "opt-out" for the requested copies will also be required, no less than every 36 months and must be done through written, e-mail or tape-recorded communication. Prior to this change, BPA distributed an opt-in agreement from each location specifying number of copies and how they would be dispensed. For all other locations, existing rules remain the same.

In the next six months, BPA's advisory committees will review whether the "opt-out" agreement should come from the central or satellite location; should it include a provision for an adjustment of copies received by the satellite location; annual or tri-annual "opt-out"; and the potential for the "opt-out" agreement to go directly to the auditing company instead of the publisher or agent.

In addition to public place reporting clarification, the Board made a number of new rules and amendments applying to both consumer and business publications. Digital copies and print copies can now be included together in the analyses and allowances of late mailings and distribution shortages, a change from the previous rule which required digital and print distribution to be analyzed separately.

Another change includes the immediate posting of circulation statements. This rule will allow circulation statements to be posted to the BPA Web site immediately after receiving approval from the publisher to print, rather than being posted following a waiting period that previously allowed for time for printing.

Following a request to control publishers promoting "spiked" circulation for one issue, the Board also created a new rule regarding the promotion of above average circulation. In cases where publishers wish to promote a single issue's circulation and that issue varies by more than 10% of the average qualified circ, the average circ for the period must be footnoted in the publicity piece.

For those publishers promoting readership in the Middle East, single copies may be sold with a cover mounted gift valued in excess of half the cover price on a temporary basis. Although BPA rules restrict the value of gifts, BPA rules will reflect the local market condition in the region and allow for this change provided full disclosure of the media buyer occurs through BPA reports. This study will be monitored by The Middle East Advisory Board during the time it is in effect.

By Linda Zebian
12/27/2006







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