BPA Makes Rule Changes
Personal Direct Request. Recognizing a request to receive a subscription may come from a subscriber’s spouse or authorized personal assistant, the board voted to rename the “Personal direct request from the recipient” source to “Direct Request” within paragraphs B*3b and C*5 on circulation statements and audit reports.
Association Request. Under current BPA rules, B3b/C5 source reporting of subscriptions requested by an association executive for their members is categorized under “association rosters and directories.” The subscriptions do not count as “company request” and certainly not “Direct Request”. The U.S. Postal Service does not count these copies as “request” either.
The BPA rule for company request states, “Questionnaires or letters on a company letterhead from firms, including franchises, requesting copies of a publication for employees identified by name, title and/or function may be reported as written request from recipient's company.” Since the association is not the employer of the individual, BPA does not report requests by association executives for their members in this category.
To disclose the difference between those media owners who obtain an association roster or directory and send copies versus a publisher who cultivates a relationship with an association to the point of generating a request from the executive, the board voted to allow media owners to disclose the executive director’s request in an “Additional Data” table footnote on the circulation statement.
Projecting B3b/C5 and B3c on merged publications. In 2006 the BPA board approved amending rules to allow publishers to project paragraph 3b and 3c for Business, and paragraph 5 for Consumer, if the circulation decreased by any amount from the previous audit analysis issue. This change was made to help publishers react quickly to the changing dynamics of the publishing environment. At the time they reaffirmed maintaining the 10% increase threshold because they felt an increase of 10% or more was a substantial change to circulation, which should require the reporting of actual figures.