By: Lucia Moses

ABC Would Redefine ‘Paid Circulation’

by Lucia Moses

Newspapers would be able to count copies sold for 25% to 50% of
their basic price as paid circulation, under a proposal recently
advanced by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). The proposal
to redefine ‘paid circulation’ is designed to give newspapers more
flexibility in marketing themselves.

The proposal – which is set for ABC board votes in November and March
and would take effect in the September 2001 publisher’s statements –
would require publishers to report those discounted copies separately
from those sold for more than 50% of the basic price and from other
paid circulation.

The proposal was based on recommendations of publishers and ad buyers,
and has been a long time in coming for both newspapers, who seek more
marketing flexibility, and advertisers, who want newspapers to provide
more disclosure of their paid circulation.

In the same vein, the proposal also would require newspapers to
distinguish copies distributed to college students from those
distributed through Newspaper In Education programs. The ABC also
expanded its definition of school subscriptions to include copies
distributed outside the classroom, effective immediately.

Similarly, the ABC plans to require newspapers to provide detailed
information about copies sold with other goods and services.


Lucia Moses ( is an associate editor for

(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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