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Multiple Copy Subscription Sales - ROI Consumer Magazines

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 Definition

More than one copy purchased by a known subscriber for a contracted period with the intention to distribute to the same group of, but unknown, individuals over the term of the subscription.

 Principles

  1. There must be a contractual arrangement between the subscriber and the publisher (or their agent)

  2. Must be likely copies are received by the same individual(s) over the term of the subscription

  3. Copies are paid for by the subscriber

  4. For a contracted period and for a minimum number of issues (at least two)

  5. Standard subscription rates must be published

  6. Reported by rate, comparing price paid by subscriber with standard rate

  7. The price paid for the publication by the subscriber must be clear and conspicuous

 

Requirements | Reporting | Guidance


 Requirements 

 1. There must be a contractual arrangement between the subscriber and the publisher (or their agent)

  1. You must be able to provide evidence of the contractual arrangements between the subscriber and the publisher (or their agent) including the issues/period and the price.

 2. Must be likely copies are received by the same individual(s) over the term of the subscription 

  1. You must be able to demonstrate, through the distribution method, that the copies are likely to be distributed to the same individual(s) over the subscription term. 

Guidance available

 3. Copies are paid for by the subscriber 

  1. You can claim copies where payment is outstanding as long as there are reasonable grounds to consider them to be live, good and collectable.

Guidance available

 4. For a contracted period and for a minimum number of issues (at least two)

  1. You cannot claim distribution of back issues.

Guidance available

 5. Standard subscription rates must be published

  1. The 'Basic Annual Rate' (BAR) is the standard 1 year subscription rate for the publication, in contrast to a special price only available to a limited class, or under limited conditions.

  2. There can only be 1 BAR per country/wider geographical region.

Guidance available

 6. Reported by rate, comparing price paid by subscriber with standard rate

  1. You must claim a subscription in the appropriate rate band by comparing the price paid for the subscription with the relevant Basic Annual Rate at the time of sale (pro-rate if less than 1 year). Note:

    1. Ignore for ABC purposes: Bank charges or exchange rate differences

    2. Ignore for ABC purposes: The value (or perceived value) of any gifts, or other incentives (including bundled publications or media products that are not claimed for ABC purposes). However cash reimbursements to the consumer must be taken into account.

    3. When calculating what price has been paid you must take into account:

      •  Any reciprocal payments made by the publisher.

      •  Any reciprocal charges for goods or services made by the purchaser (or the intermediary if applicable) as part of the deal (for example: for distribution or marketing).

      •  The value of any other goods or services provided free or discounted by the publisher (for example advertising or promotional messages).

  2. If a subscription promotion includes a gift or product that is being claimed for ABC purposes (for example a bundled copy of a publication or access to a paid website) then the price paid must be allocated according to the following, moving down the list until one can be applied:

    1. According to the specific terms of the offer.

    2. Where specific terms are not clear, by pro-rating the price according to the relative prices of the ABC claimed products.

    3. Where the specific terms are not clear and in the absence of a means of pro-rating the price paid, it should be divided equally between the number of ABC claimed products included in the sale.

  3. Where a subscription is sold through a subscription agent:

    1. Copies can be claimed as sold at Basic Annual Rate unless they are known to be discounted.

    2. Linked incentives offered by the agent (with no contribution from the publisher) will be ignored for ABC purposes.

  4. You may treat subscription orders for more than one year as a sale at Basic Annual Rate if the published multi-year subscription rate when pro-rated to 1 year:

    1. Is at least 90% of the BAR for a two year subscription; or

    2. Is at least 85% of the BAR for a three year subscription.

  5. If you do not publish a relevant BAR then those copies must be claimed in the lowest rate band.

  6. You must retain details of subscription rates and special offers during the reporting period.

 Guidance available

 7. The price paid for the publication by the subscriber must be clear and conspicuous 

No additional requirements.

 


 Reporting

You will report multiple copy subscription sales as follows, which will be broken out on the ABC Certificate (note: the term Full Rate will replace Basic Annual Rate 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. Less than 50% of Full Rate but not less than 20%;

    4. Less than 20% of Full Rate but not less than 10%;

    5. Less than 10% of Full Rate.

  3. By total average multiple copy subscription sale over the period.

  4. The Full Rate at the time of the last issue reported in the period for UK, ROI and Other Countries. If there is more than one Full Rate for Other Countries then you must report a range, from the lowest to the highest.

 


 Guidance

 G1. There must be a contractual arrangement between the subscriber and the publisher (or their agent).

No additional guidance.

 G2. Must be likely copies are received by the same individual(s) over the term of the subscription

  1. You might demonstrate the copies are likely to be distributed to the same individual(s) over the subscription term by:

    1. By providing names of the individuals to whom the copies are distributed

    2. By demonstrating that copies are distributed to the same fixed pool of individuals e.g. employees of a particular department or company who can reasonably be expected to be present at the same delivery location on an on-going basis.  

 G3. Copies are paid for by the subscriber

  1. Where payment is outstanding you may take into account the following in considering whether there are reasonable grounds to consider the debt to be live, good and collectable:

    1. Publisher's normal credit terms

    2. Payment history

    3. Credit control efforts

 G4. For a contracted period and for a minimum number of issues (at least two)

  1. The contracted period may be a rolling issue by issue (or open ended) arrangement providing the contractual arrangements clearly intend there to be an on-going payment mandate and the sale is not promoted as a single copy purchase.

 G5. Standard subscription rates must be published

  1. Published does not mean necessarily published in the publication but published so that they are publicly available.

 G6. Reported by rate, comparing price paid by subscriber with standard rate

  1. [Requirement 6b showing examples ] If a subscription promotion includes a gift or product that is being claimed for ABC purposes (for example a bundled copy of a publication or access to a paid website) then the price paid must be allocated according to the following, moving down the list until one can be applied:

      1. According to the specific terms of the offer. For example: Buy X magazine get Y free means Y will be treated as free.

      2. Where specific terms are not clear, by pro-rating the price according to the relative prices of the ABC claimed products. For example where the promotion is ‘Buy a subscription to X and Y for £50’ and X and Y have Basic Annual Subscription rates of £40 and £50 respectively then the £50 paid will be pro-rated in the ratio 40:50.

      3. Where the specific terms are not clear and in the absence of a means of pro-rating the price paid, it should be divided equally between the number of ABC claimed products included in the sale.

      4. Further Examples of Subscription Promotions

    What’s in the subscription promotion?

    How is it promoted?

    Can it be claimed?

    How is it claimed?

    Criteria applied

    Publication A + Handbag

    Subscribe today and receive a free handbag

    Yes

    At price paid (handbag ignored as not ABC claimed)

    i

    Publication + Handbag

    Buy handbag and receive free subscription to Publication A

    Not as paid

    Publication is free (could be claimed as free if appropriate criteria met).

    i

    Publication A + Marks & Spencer Vouchers

    Subscribe for 3 months and receive vouchers for Marks & Spencer

    Yes

    At price paid (vouchers ignored as not ABC claimed)

    i

    Publication A and Publication B (both ABC claimed)

    Subscribe to Publication A and receive Publication B free

    Publication A Yes.

    Publication B Not as paid

    Publication A at price paid (Publication B treated as free as promoted as free)

    i

    Publication A and Publication B (both ABC claimed: Publication A sub normally £80 and Publication B sub normally £40)

    Subscribe to both Publication A and Publication B for £100

    Yes, both.

    £100 pro-rated = £67 Publication A and £33 Publication B

    ii

    Publication A and Publication B (both ABC claimed: Publication A sub normally £80 and Publication B sub normally £40) + Handbag

    Subscribe to both Publication A and Publication B for £100 and receive a handbag worth £50

    Yes, both.

    £100 pro-rated = £67 Publication A and £33 Publication B (handbag ignored as not ABC claimed)

    ii

    Publication A and Website access (both ABC claimed: Publication A sub normally £100 but Website access is only available as a package with the Publication)

    Subscribe to Publication A and receive website access – all for £100

    Yes, both

    £100 divided equally £50 for Publication A and £50 for website access (website access is not available either free or paid so no price can be identified to pro-rate).

    iii

    Publication A + Digital Edition (not ABC claimed)

    Subscribe to Publication A for £100 and receive the Digital Edition worth £80

    Yes

    Publication A at £100 (Digital Edition ignored as not claimed)

    i

    Publication A + Digital Edition (both ABC claimed: Publication A sub normally £100 and Digital Edition sub normally £50)

    Subscribe to Publication A and the Digital Edition for £120 (normally £150).

    Yes, both

    £120 pro-rated = Publication A at £80 and Digital Edition at £40

    ii

  2. Examples of promotional offers that would result in copies being claimed at a discounted rate:

    1. 'Save 25% on your subscription'

    2. '2 years subscription for the price of one'

    3. '18 issues for the price of 12'

    4. 'Buy 12 issues get 6 free' (note: All 18 issues can be claimed as paid, with the price paid being allocated equally across them).

    5. Bulk discounts for multiple orders.

 7. The price paid for the publication by the subscriber must be clear and conspicuous

No additional guidance.