BPA Board Amends Rules on App Reporting, Pre-Populated Qualifications Forms and More at Annual Meeting

By: Press Release | BPA

Shelton, CT June 5, 2012 –  The BPA Worldwide Board of Directors approved several rule amendments at their annual meeting held recently in New York City. 

BPA will host a free webinar on June 13th (1pm EST) to review these initiatives and rule amendments in further detail. A live question and answer session will follow. Register here for the webinar.
Unless otherwise specified, all changes will be in effect with the June 2012 reporting period.

Board Actions Applying to All Members

Audited Web Traffic: Due to advances in technology, the Board took strides toward a truly “tag neutral” approach in respect to reporting audited website traffic data. BPA is now making more options available to members to participate in our web traffic audit process. Specifically, the auditor will no longer require that members use the BPA proprietary tag powered by Nielsen.

Using an enhanced audit process, BPA can now work with other existing web analytics tags, including Google Analytics and/or Omniture SiteCatalyst tags. They will look to add other analytics tools to this list as necessary (these will be subject to BPA review for appropriate audit trails). The effective date of this change will be July 1, 2012. More information on this subject will be issued under separate cover.

Reporting Apps: At BPA’s last Board meeting in December 2011, the reporting of Apps and issues served through Apps was discussed. At that time, it was determined that due to the lack of end user information, only App downloads could be reported on BPA Brand reports; there was not enough recipient information to report qualified subscriptions/copies delivered through Apps on circulation statements.

Over the last few months, BPA has seen media owners develop App registration (free) or payment (paid) gateways. While the App is often free, when first accessed, the end user must either register or pay to gain access to the subscription/copy. Through this gateway mechanism, media owners can  now prove qualification, and may now report the copies served through Apps as qualified circulation.  

Board Actions Applying to Business Publications and Consumer Magazines Only

Pre-Populated Electronic Qualification Forms: In 2004, BPA conducted a series of tests on pre-populated data on electronic qualification forms. At that time, it was determined that pre-populated data did not positively influence response rate, and, in many cases, subscribers did not pay close attention to the data on the forms. However, testing determined that single-response questions that required the subscriber to select a “confirm” button at the end of each question yielded quality results. As a result, in 2004 the BPA Board reaffirmed BPA rules not allowing pre-populated data on qualification forms, unless it was a single response web form, where the subscriber confirmed the data for each question.

In 2011, BPA Worldwide was asked to test pre-populated web forms again. Publishers stated that it had been more than six years since the last test and individuals have become more accustomed to having their data presented on pre-populated on electronic interfaces. As a result, they are now more careful about updating and safeguarding their information.

Tests were conducted on pre-populated web forms. While BPA found that subscribers are more likely to change a blank form than a pre-populated form, the variances were minor. As a result, the Board voted to allow publishers to pre-populate electronic subscription forms (web, email, text) with the previous year’s data. The maximum age of the previous demographic data cannot exceed three years in age and the subscriber must be asked to review the data and press a single confirm button to agree the information is correct before completing the renewal.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR): Interactive Voice Response (IVR) reduces the labor costs in telecommunication campaigns and allows media owners to qualify and re-qualify subscribers in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
In November 2011, BPA tested a number of IVR campaigns. The results were in alignment with the results of campaigns made by live telemarketing representatives. As a result, the Board voted to allow telemarketing companies to utilize Interactive Voice Response (IVR) in their subscriber qualifying and re-qualifying efforts.

Digital Request, Electronic: At the December 2011 meeting, the BPA Board ruled that subscriber access to digital copies (by downloading the issue or accessing it online) may be used to substantiate a renewal to continue receiving a digital subscription.

The current rule requires minimum access for the six-month reporting period, depending on publishing frequency. However, since most members analyze either May or November issues, media owners found they were not getting the benefit of subscriber access in the months of June or December, effectively losing two months out of the year.

The Board amended the rule to maintain the original access requirements, and the six-month period, but the six-month access period will now end with the analyzed issue, and, in so doing, provide media owners with a full twelve months of subscriber access.

Board Actions Applying to Canadian Daily Newspapers Only

Reporting Separate Editions: Many Canadian daily newspaper publishers use Extended Market Coverage (EMC) and/or Total Market Coverage (TMC) editions of their paper to provide full coverage of geographic areas. This is important for flyer distribution.

EMC editions are the full paper distributed to an expanded audience. TMC editions contain different editorial—and often a different name—from the host paper. CCAB, BPA’s Canadian division, historically allowed both EMC and TMC editions circulation to be reported on the host paper’s CCAB report, with full disclosure.  

The BPA Board decided that TMC editions, with their varying editorial content, should not be allowed to report their circulation on the host CCAB report. TMC editions now must have their own memberships and their own CCAB reports.

About BPA Worldwide. A not-for-profit organization since 1931 and headquartered in Shelton, CT, USA, BPA has the largest membership of any media-auditing organization in the world, spanning more than 30 countries. The organization conducts 2,600+ audits for media brands in print, online/digital and live events. Additionally, under the iCompli brand, BPA documents compliance to defined standards including data protection, provides assurance of sustainability reporting, and verifies technology, service and privacy claims. BPA is supported by 2,700 advertiser and agency members.

Visit www.bpaww.com for the latest audit reports, membership information and media/advertising industry news.

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