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Single Copy Sales - Consumer Magazines

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Definition

A single copy sold to a consumer direct by the publisher.

Principles

  1. Single copy knowingly paid for by the consumer

  2. Copies are purchased direct from the publisher

  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. If the final rate classification is not known then estimates must be made 

  6. 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

  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 minimum legal tender per copy

  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.

        • Note:
        • 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.

        • 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 direct from the publisher 

  1. 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. If the final rate classification is not known then estimates must be made

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

In this case you must adjust your claim in the following period to reflect any difference between the estimated classification and the actual classification. 

  1. In relation to promotional schemes utilising voucher redemption: 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

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

No additional requirements.

 


Reporting

You will report single copy 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. 20% - 99% of Full Rate

    3. Below 20% of Full Rate

  3. Combined with 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 quantity and the percentage of each issue’s Paid Sinlgle Copies figure (total of retail sales and single copy sales)  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. 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 single copy 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 direct from the publisher

  1. You will need to ensure all records required to support the single copy sale claim are available for audit. This will include financial records that adequately identify the numbers of each issue of the publication sold, including an audit trail to verify the money received.

  2. For copies sold at exhibitions or events evidence you may need might include:

    1. Till receipts/cash sheets allowing monies to be traced through to evidence of banking.

    2. Evidence that the publisher or their representatives had a presence at the exhibition or event to corroborate that copies were sold there. For example: evidence the publisher had booked a stand or pitch at the event, or evidence the copies were delivered to the event venue. 

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
    • Outlets involved
    • Wording of the promotion displayed
    • How the resultant copies are claimed
    • How the promotion will be paid for

  2. Promotions/gifts examples

    • If a publication ‘ABC News’ is promoted as ‘Buy ABC News 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.

    • 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.

G5. If the final rate classification is not known then estimates must be made

  1. 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.

 G6. Reported by rate, comparing price paid by the consumer with the Basic Cover Price

No additional guidance.