Menu
Error
  • JCacheStorageFile::_deleteFolderFailed deleting index.html

Retail Sales (Sale or Return) - ROI Consumer Magazines

PDF Print

Definition

A copy sold to a retailer, on a sale or return basis, for resale as a single copy to a consumer.

Principles

  1. Single copy knowingly paid for by the consumer to the retailer

  2. Copies are purchased from the publisher by the retailer, on a sale or return basis, either direct or via the distribution chain (typically distributor and/or wholesaler)

  3. Cover price must be published on or inside front or back cover of the publication

  4. The price paid for the publication by the consumer must be clear and conspicuous

  5. There must be an incentive for unsold copies/net sale to be reported to the publisher

  6. If the final net sale and/or rate classification are not known then estimates must be made 

  7. Reported by rate, comparing price paid by the consumer with the Basic Cover Price

 

Requirements | Reporting | Guidance


Requirements 

1. Single copy knowingly paid for by the consumer to the retailer

  1. The purchase by the consumer may be in cash or by other means agreed by ABC in writing. 

  2. The consumer must pay at least 20% of Basic Cover Price

  3. Multipacked (or banded) magazines:

    A magazine is defined for ABC purposes as being sold as part of a Multipack (i.e. where it is packaged or banded together as a unit with other issues or publications) only if two or more publications in that pack are included in an ABC circulation claim. 

    1. Only one publication claimed: 

      If only one publication that is sold as part of a package is to be included in an ABC circulation claim, (‘the lead title’) then the sale of the pack will be treated for ABC purposes as the sale of just that publication. Note: 

      • It must be clear from the pack itself which publication is the lead title (i.e. the one which can be included in an ABC claim). 

      • The lead title cannot be a back issue or promoted as ‘free’.

    1. Two or more publications claimed

      • Sales of Multipacks must be separately and clearly identified on newstrade reports and documentation

      • If a magazine in the pack is a back issue or is at all promoted as ‘free’ then it cannot be claimed as a sold copy for ABC purposes.

      • The price of the Multipack must be at least the sum of:

        • The Basic Cover Price of the highest priced magazine that is to be included in an ABC circulation claim;

          plus

        • 20% of the Basic Cover Price of the other magazine(s) included in the pack that are also to be included in an ABC circulation claim.

          • Note:
          1. If the publisher has removed the normal cover price from a publication (to prevent resale for example) or reduced the cover price for that issue the Basic Cover Price must still be applied for this purpose.

          2. For ABC rate classification purposes the Multipack price must be allocated to each magazine included in an ABC circulation claim on a pro-rata basis using their individual Basic Cover Prices.

  4. Back issues up to 12 months old can be claimed against the issue current at the time of sale.

Guidance available

2. Copies are purchased from the publisher by the retailer, on a sale or return basis, either direct or via the distribution chain (typically distributor and/or wholesaler) 

  1. ‘Sale or Return’ means unsold copies are returned or reported for credit. The copies claimed will therefore be the net sale (copies supplied less credited copies).

  2. Where the publisher is not third party to the retailer then evidence of purchase by the consumer is required.
    For example EPOS reports and retailer revenues. 
  3. You must account for net sales on an issue by issue basis.

Guidance available

3. Cover price must be published on or inside front or back cover of the publication

  1. Where a publication is sold as part of a Multipack:

    1. The cover price of the individual publication need not be published on or in the publication.

    2. The price of the multipack must be published on the Multipack.  

4. The price paid for the publication by the consumer must be clear and conspicuous

  1. If a voucher from a publisher controlled promotion is used the amount paid by the consumer is deemed to be the total of the cash paid to the retailer and any cash they paid for the voucher.

  2. The value (or perceived value) of gifts or cover mounts to the consumer have no effect on the price paid for ABC purposes. However cash reimbursements to the consumer must be taken into account (excluding limited low chance lottery style promotions).   

  3. You must retain details of promotional or special offers during the reporting period.

Guidance available

5. There must be an incentive for unsold copies/net sale to be reported to the publisher 

No additional requirements.

6. If the final net sale and/or rate classification are not known then estimates must be made

  1. If at the time you submit your circulation claim:

    1. Unsold copies could still be returned or reported, you must make an estimate of final sales.

    2. You are running a promotional scheme where the final position (e.g. the number of discounted sales via redeemed vouchers) is not known you must make an estimate of the final net sale and classification.

      You must adjust your claim in the following period to reflect any difference between the estimated net sale and classification and the actual net sale and classification. 

  2. In relation to promotional schemes utilising voucher redemption: If you are reporting on a monthly basis and the effect of not making an estimate is judged to be unlikely to affect the figures claimed by more than 2% of the total average circulation then you can account for the vouchers on a wash through basis (i.e. as they are redeemed).

Guidance available

7. Reported by rate, comparing price paid by the consumer with the Basic Cover Price 

  1. Sales by retailers will be treated as sales at the cover price unless there is evidence to the contrary.

 


Reporting

You will report retail sales as follows, which will be broken out on the ABC Certificate (note: the term Full Rate will replace full or Basic Cover Price for reporting purposes): 

  1. By geographical type:

    1. United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland

    2. Other Countries

  2. By rate band:

    1. At Full Rate

    2. Below Full Rate but not less than 50%

    3. Below 50% of Full Rate but not less than 20%

  3. By total average retail sale over the period.

  4. The issues that include copies sold as a part of a multipack must be reported, identifying the other publication(s) included in the multipack (only those that are themselves included in an ABC circulation claim) and the percentage of each issue’s total retail sales and single copy sales figure that is sold as part of a multipack. 

 


Guidance

G1. Single copy knowingly paid for by the consumer

  1. Cash means legal tender notes and coins, cheque, credit/debit card, wireless payment systems.

  2. This doesn’t preclude a retailer selling more than one copy to a single purchaser (without the publisher’s knowledge).

  3. Multipacks

    1. Identification of lead title could be achieved by:

      • The promotion identifying the lead title as the publication that is purchased and that the other publications in the pack are free. For example: ’Buy X get Y free’, where X would be the lead title; or

      • The lead title’s greater prominence. For example the publication whose front page is visible at the front of the pack.

    2. Sales of multipacks being separately and clearly identified on newstrade reports and documentation could be achieved by:

      • Making the external packaging/band of the multipack carry a price as well as a unique barcode (that is different from the barcode carried on any of the constituent publications).

      • Not printing the multipack barcode and price on any of the constituent publications (to avoid sales of individual publications being incorrectly recorded as multipack sales). 

One magazine claimed examples:

    1. ABC News (cover price €1) and ABC Celebrity (cover price €2) are packaged together, sold for €1 and promoted as ‘Buy ABC News and get ABC Celebrity free’. In this case ABC News can be claimed (at the pack price of €1) because ABC Celebrity has been promoted as free.

    2. ABC News (cover price €1) and ABC Celebrity (cover price €2) are packaged together, sold for €1 and promoted as ‘2 for 1’. If ABC Celebrity has its cover facing out of the front of the pack and the front cover of ABC News is not visible from the outside of the pack then only ABC Celebrity can be included in an ABC circulation claim and for ABC purposes each copy of the pack sold will count as a copy of ABC Celebrity sold for €1.   

Two magazine multipack examples

    1. If ABC News (cover price €1) and ABC Celebrity (cover price €2) are packaged together, then for each to be eligible on the ABC claim the package must be sold for at least €2.20 with the package having its own unique barcode. Copies of each magazine sold in the package can be claimed as retail sales, with ABC News being treated as sold at 73p and ABC Celebrity as €1.47 (package price pro-rated 1/3 and 2/3 respectively).

    2. If ABC Celebrity was multipacked with a back issue of ABC News for €2.20, then the copies of ABC News could not be claimed as sales for ABC purposes (because multipacked back issues are disallowed) and the copies of ABC Celebrity could be claimed as sales for the price of €2.20

    3. If ABC Celebrity was multipacked with an issue of ABC News for a pack price of €2.20, and ABC News is being promoted as being free, then: the copies of ABC News could not be claimed as sales for ABC purposes because they are promoted as free and the copies of ABC Celebrity could be claimed as sales for the price of €2.20. 

G2. Copies are purchased from the publisher by the retailer, on a sale or return basis, either direct or via the distribution chain (typically distributor and/or wholesaler)

  1. You will need to ensure all records required to support the retail sale claim are available for audit. This will include: 

    1. Full details of the exact numbers claimed as unsold or returned copies (including undelivered, lost or stolen copies) for every issue in the audit period.

    2. Full issue by issue details of all financial records and contracts with distributors, wholesalers and retailers, with specific regard to normal and recognised trade terms. These must be reconcilable to the distribution and returns records on an issue specific basis and to the average net retail sales claim.

    3. Details of any change in trading terms from firm sale (if allowed) to sale or return (either temporarily or permanently) or vice versa.

    4. Details of discounts, special offers or restrictions on the return of unsold or undelivered copies.

  2. Copies reported using a pay on scan system will be reported in this category. You will need to ensure appropriate records of sales are available for audit.

  3. Retail sales of Digital Editions via a third party retailer (for example Apple Newsstand, Google, Amazon etc) will be reported in this category. 

G3. Cover price must be published on or inside front or back cover of the publication

No additional guidance.

G4. The price paid for the publication by the consumer must be clear and conspicuous

  1. As the price paid may be affected by promotional schemes you should keep details of purchases and promotional spends so you can demonstrate copies are purchased and that sales under incentives/offers are classified correctly, or disallowed as necessary. You can contact ABC for confidential advice, supplying copies of the promotional material and offer wording. The information kept may include:

    • Title/s involved
    • Issues involved
    • Duration of promotion
    • Retail outlets involved
    • Wording of the promotion displayed at the retail outlet/s
    • How the resultant copies are claimed
    • How the promotion will be paid for

  2. Treatment of bundle/package promotions 

    1. As each case can vary we recommend you contact us for advice before carrying out your promotion.

    2. How the price of the publication is presented to the consumer will affect how or whether the copy may be claimed for ABC purposes.

      • If the price of the publication appears in the promotional material and it is legible (taking into account its presentation and prominence (including the size of the font used) and assuming a reasonable speed of reading) then the price is likely to be considered clear and conspicuous. 

        • Stating the publication’s price in relation to the promotion/bundle in the main wording of the offer will provide most clarity. 

        • The further away from the main offer wording and/or less prominent in the promotion the price of the publication becomes, the more likely it will not be considered clear and conspicuous. 

        • If the price of the publication is linked to the main offer wording with, say, an asterisk - this would make it more conspicuous.

      • Merely stating the price of the publication without reference to the bundle/package could just be a statement about the normal price of the publication and so will not necessarily render the price clear and conspicuous.

      • If there is conflicting information about the price, then the lowest price assessment would be taken for ABC purposes (which might mean it is free).

      • The absence of a clear and conspicuous price would render the copies as free, as would explicit wording stating the publication is free.

        1. Promotion “Buy the publication and a bottle of water for €x”. The price of the publication is not clear and conspicuous. 

        2. Promotion “Buy the publication and a bottle of water for €x” which is accompanied by the statement “The price of the publication in this promotion is €y”. The price of the publication is likely to be considered clear and conspicuous if the accompanying statement is either within the main body of the promotion, or is in a footnote that is asterisked to the main body and is legible. 

        3. Promotion “Buy the publication and bottle of water for €x.” Elsewhere in promotion “Publication is €y Monday to Friday and €z on Saturdays”. The price of the publication is not in the promotion and is unlikely to be considered clear and conspicuous as this statement appears to be the normal price of the publication.

        4. Promotion: If a publication ‘ABC News’ is promoted as ‘Buy ABC News for €x and get a free bottle of water’ then the bottle of water is treated as a free gift and it is clear the price paid is solely for the purchase of the publication.

        5. Promotion: If the promotion is ‘Buy a bottle of water and get a free copy of ABC News’ then the publication will be treated as free for ABC purposes.

  3. Per section 4b: “The discount or cash reimbursement must be taken into account. Examples:

        1. Promotion: “Buy publication and spend €5 and you get €1 off your publication”. The publication is discounted by €1.

        2. Promotion: “Buy publication, spend €5 and get €1 off your shopping basket”. The publication is discounted as it is part of the shopping basket, but it is difficult to determine how much it is discounted and will be considered on a case by case basis. In this example, using the minimum spend requirement of the offer gives a 20% discount and would seem a reasonable treatment.

        3. Promotion: “Buy publication and get €1 off a jar of coffee”. Or “Buy publication and get the money off the rest of your shopping”. The publication is full price, provided that the publication is sold at full price and the reimbursement does not exceed the cost of the items being discounted. 

G5. There must be an incentive for unsold copies/net sale to be reported to the publisher

No additional guidance.

G6. If the final net sale and/or rate classification are not known then estimates must be made

  1. Estimates of final sale

    An assessment of likely sales should be based on current and historic information such as:

    • Current levels of sales and unsold copies
    • Historic data and seasonal trends
    • Promotional activity
    • Print orders
    • Competitor activity
    • Information from sales force

      Particular attention should be given to periods of promotion, re-launch and to non-ROI circulation in general in order to arrive at a fair and reasonable representation of the net circulation. You should record the calculations and assumptions used to arrive at the estimated net sale.

  2. All unsold copies must be accounted for. This means that all estimates of net sale must be reviewed in the next audit period to establish their accuracy and that claim adjusted to account for any over or under estimate from the previous period. This must be done for each relevant geographical area reported [Note: If the difference for a period is found to be material following an ABC audit or inspection, ABC may amend the Certificate for the period to which the estimate relates).

    View worked example E1

  3. In relation to promotional schemes utilising voucher redemption a wash through basis means vouchers are accounted for as they are redeemed. The specific point at which they are treated as redeemed is not prescribed but you should use a reasonable and consistent basis.

Examples

E1. If the final net sale and/or rate classification are not known then estimates must be made

All unsold copies must be accounted for. This means that all estimates of net sale must be reviewed in the next audit period to establish their accuracy and that claim adjusted to account for any over or under estimate from the previous period. This must be done for each relevant geographical area reported [Note: If the difference for a period is found to be material following an ABC audit or inspection, ABC may amend the Certificate for the period to which the estimate relates).

Worked example (assuming 12 issues in a reporting period)

Issue         Total
ID  Supply  Returns Net Sale    Sales%

1    88,500   26,229   62,271        70.36% closed
2    88,500   24,728   63,772        72.06% closed
3    88,250   23,688   64,652        73.26% closed
4    89,630   14,266   75,364        71.08% closed
5    89,820   27,620   62,200        69.25% closed
6    89,650   21,982   67,668        75.48% closed
7    88,500   26,229   62,271        70.36% closed
8    88,500   24,728   63,772        72.06% closed
9    88,250   23,688   64,652        73.26% closed
10  89,630   14,266   75,364        84.08% unclosed
11  89,820   9,655     80,165        89.25% unclosed
12  89,650   465        89,185        99.48% unclosed 

In this example issues 10, 11 and 12 are not yet closed so an estimate of the final net sales figures have to be made using the criteria mentioned above. You will, of course, notice that a proportion of the unsold copies have already been received, but at this stage you should just concentrate on what you think the final net sales will be.

When all the estimates have been made the final figures for your claim may look something like this: -

Issue         Total
ID  Supply  Returns Est. Sale   Sales%
10  89,630   25,096   64,534*     72% Estimated

11  89,820   25,150   64,670*     72% Estimated
12  89,650   24,205   65,445*     73% Estimated 

This means that your estimate of final net sale for these three unclosed issues is 194,649*.

Remember that you must report separate figures for any geographical areas broken out on the Certificate (e.g. UK / Republic of Ireland or overseas).

Adjustment for the estimate
In the next reporting period you would have a report giving you the actual net sales for issues 10, 11 and 12 because by then they would be closed off and complete. For example, the final report may be as follows: 

Issue         Total       Actual
ID  Supply  Returns  Sale       Sales%
10 89,630   25,382   64,248*      71.68%
11 89,820   25,884   63,936*      71.18%
12 89,650   26,312   63,338*      70.65% 

In this example the actual net sales relevant to your estimate is 191,522*.

The difference between your original estimate and the actual figure (i.e. 194,649 minus 191,522) means you have overstimated sales by a total of 3,127 copies over those 3 issues.

The average overestimate of sold copies was therefore 3,127 divided by 12 (total issues in the previous period) = 261.

So you must deduct 261 copies from the average in the current period, to ensure the overestimate from the previous period is accounted for.