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ROI ABC Bulk Distribution - rule changes

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This section details the changes to the ROI ABC Bulk Distribution Reporting Standards.

Issued April 2017

  • Excluded issues: The ability to exclude an issue of a paid for publication from the average circulation due to a local bank holiday has been amended to those issues where sales are affected by a local public holiday, evidenced either by publication on an official local authority website or by virtue of a long-standing custom/tradition previously recognised by ABC. 

Issued December 2016

  • Event Audience (Multi-Platform Certificate/Report) - You can report a simple event audience figure on a Multi-Platform Certificate/Report. The attendance figure will comprise people that have attended (whether paying or free), with them being counted once on each day they attend.

  • Awards Seat Sales (Multi-Platform Certificate/Report) - You can report seat sales for Awards Events on a Multi-Platform Certificate/Report. Further details of attendees are not required.

Issued September 2015

  • Free Pick Up Copies - Hotel cap: The cap for hotels in Dublin has been increased to 80% of the bedrooms.

Guidance Update - August 2015

  • Retail Promotions - Guidance on discounts / cash reimbursements: Clarification of how in-store promotions that result in discounts or cash reimbursements affect the reporting of the publication for ABC purposes.

  • Retail promotions - Guidance on clarification of clear and conspicuous pricing: Clarification of what is clear and conspicuous pricing when a publication is sold in-store as part of a bundle or package with other products.

Issued May 2014

  •  Identification of the Audit Issue: Clarification of treatment when two issues fall an equal distance from the designated date.
  • Reporting Periods: Clarification of Reporting Period options for publications newly registered with ABC.

  • Talking Publications: Rules have been added to allow the reporting of Talking Publications on a product’s Multi-Platform Certificate (note: not on the ABC print certificate). 

Issued July 2013

  • We have undertaken a major exercise to re-write the Reporting Standards to make them easier to use.

  • After consultation with the industry the new rules have moved to a principle-based approach, allowing for more flexibility to deal with new and changing developments in circulation and verification. We have also harmonised common names and definitions across sectors.

  • Each rule is outlined by a simple definition first, underpinned by its principles and then followed by more detailed requirements. Separate guidance notes provide common examples and applications of achieving the requirements

  • As a result of this exercise some rules have changed, but most are minor changes linked to harmonising and simplifying. Click on the link above to view a document summarising the changes.

  • *Please note*: These changes apply from July 2013, therefore for reporting periods up to and including June 2013 you must use the previous Reporting standards, available in the Reporting Standards Archive.

  • Some of the main changes worth noting are:

    1. Reporting page size in format rather than mm.

    2. Mandatory reporting of information on the publication has been removed.

Issued June 2012

  • Editorial content: From periods ending July 2012 average percentage editorial content will replace average percentage advertising content on the certificate; what is deemed editorial is simplified and the editorial content is to be identified to the nearest half page.

Issued March 2012

  • Social Media: From April 2012 you can now report a basic measure of social media audience(s) on a product’s ABC Multi-Platform Certificate. Examples of what could be reported are Facebook ‘Likes’ or Twitter ‘Followers’.

Issued December 2011

  • From January 2012 reporting period: clarification of the information and requirements for bulk distribution claims, including ABC's right to contact distribution points, information expected on the Master List of Distribution Points and the audit treatment following the assessent of management controls.

Issued May 2011 

  • Submission of distribution claims: Confirmation that there will be a common deadline date for June and December reporting cycles for ROI titles.


If you require information on any earlier changes please contact us.