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ROI Business Magazines - rule changes

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This section details the changes to the ROI Business Magazines Reporting Standards.


Issued December 2016

  • Optional analyses - You can report, with ABC's agreement, additional information on the certificate. ABC will review the request and confirm whether the information can be reported and any associated cost.

  • 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 May 2016

  • Digital Editions - you can now include live social media feeds, news and video feeds. The principle of a Digital Edition being inert once published has been removed, and editorial can be updated after publication, as long as at least 75% of the editorial from the print parent is present at any point in the Digital Edition.

  • Other Bulk Distribution - you can now claim back issues in this section, but will also report the date(s) of these distributions.

  • Issue reporting - publications that have more than 56 issues in a Reporting Period will now report the detail for all their issues rather than a summary statement. 

Issued December 2015

  • Print only subscriptions not available: Where print only subscriptions are not available and a print Basic Annual Rate (BAR) does not exist (for example where subscriptions are only available as a print and digital package), you may now use, for ABC purposes, an “alternative BAR” figure, which is set at 75% of the annualised print cover price.

Issued September 2015 

  • Gift subscriptions – Digital Edition requirements: You can now claim gift subscriptions for Digital Editions. If purchased for at least 20% of Basic Annual Rate you only need the recipient’s email address instead of a postal address to claim a Digital Edition gift subscription. It is clarified that these Gift Subscriptions will be treated as being in the same geographical location as the purchaser making the gift.

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. Creation of new circulation category, Sponsored Subscription Sales

    2. Minimum subscription term is now 2 issues.

    3. Treatment of subscription offers and bundles clarified

    4. Re-naming of Newstrade to Retail Sales

    5. A change to the two and three year subscription discounts.

    6. One Subscription BAR per country.

Issued May 2013

  • Digital Editions: Various changes to the definition and requirements for Digital Editions, including permitted changes to editorial and advertising compared to the print parent edition. Please follow the link for the details. 

Issued June 2012

  • Audit issue: The criteria for determining the Audit Issue is changing from periods ending January 2013 onwards. The change is a simplification in order to reduce the significant costs of additional programming in new ABC systems. From 2013 the Audit Issue will be the issue distributed nearest to the first day of the last month in the Reporting Period. For example the issue distributed nearest to 1st June for periods ending 30th June 2013.

  • Sources from related parties: Previously where you sourced an individual’s details for your magazine circulation from registrations for an exhibition you run we could only accept the registration as a source once we had audited the exhibition. We will now be able to verify the addressee’s data at audit by direct contact with the addressee (as would happen during the exhibition audit).

Issued March 2012

  • Single and Multiple Copy Subscriptions: The rules currently state that for subscription purchases the recipients’ details must be provided by the purchaser. Due to some possible ambiguity in certain scenarios, it has been clarified that, with immediate effect, where the purchaser has approved the recipients’ details (even if they were originally provided by the publisher) then this would be compliant.

  • Social Media: Rules have been added to allow from April 2012 the reporting of a basic measure of social media audience(s) on a product’s Multi-Platform Certificate (note: not on the ABC print certificate). Examples might be Facebook ‘Likes’ or Twitter ‘Followers’

Issued May 2011

  • Submission of circulation 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.