BPA Makes Rule Changes
In the absence of invoices with supporting proof-of-payment documentation, the board voted to include a provision in the rules requiring publishers to maintain agreements with schools confirming they agree to accept and redistribute a specified number of copies for a defined period of time. Agreements may cover the school year, and exclude periods such as March Break and Christmas vacation. Agreements will help confirm copies were distributed. A similar requirement already exists in the Consumer magazine rules for bulk circulation.
Promotional incentives (premiums). Many daily newspapers offer subscribers promotional incentives as a means to grow subscriptions. Promotional incentives are also referred to as “premiums.”
Newspapers currently report circulation by price point: copies sold at or below 50% of the basic rate; and copies sold above 50% basic rate. The value of the promotional incentive can impact the reporting of copies. Taking this into consideration, the BPA board agreed to a change that subtracts the value of the promotional incentive from the offer price to determine more accurate price point reporting.
Sponsored/Third Party circulation. At its last meeting in December 2008, the BPA board agreed to allow the reporting of individually addressed Canadian newspaper subscriptions purchased in lots of six (6) or more as “Sponsored by Third Party or Free”, while lots of five (5) or fewer are reported as “Paid For By Individual Recipient.”
BPA was made aware of a case in which a corporate franchisor purchases 200 copies on a daily basis with the intent of delivering five copies to each of its 40 retail locations. Since the franchisor serves as a collective buyer for the retail locations, and the retail locations were receiving five copies each for on premise reading by their patrons, the board voted to amend the rule to account for similar situations.
Board Actions Applying to all BPA Applicants