Qualified Nonpaid: Subscription Sources Guide

  1. Introduction
  2. Direct Request from Recipient
  3. Direct Request from Recipient's Company
  4. Communication Other Than Request
  5. Association
  6. Business Directories and List Sources
  7. Acquired Circulation
  8. Other Sources

Introduction

Publishers may use a variety of sources to obtain qualified nonpaid circulation, as disclosed in paragraph 3B of AAM documents. This guide is designed to identify and define acceptable sources and outline the qualification criteria for each.

Please reference Chapter D, Article 12 of the AAM Bylaws and Rules.

Click on a specific topic for details. If you are developing an initiative that is not addressed in this guide, please contact your Publisher Relations manager.

 

Updated: 8/22/2014

Direct Request from Recipient

Definition & Reporting

Circulation classified as “Direct Request from Recipient,” represents nonpaid circulation from qualified individuals who, in writing, over the phone, online or via email, verified their qualification and desire to receive the publication.

In paragraph 3B Age of Source, the publisher discloses nonpaid circulation by source and age of request.

3b _1

As an option, a publisher may disclose the source in more detail by including the method used to obtain the request.

3b _1breakout

Written (including Internet and Email)

Written (including Internet and email) represents nonpaid circulation from qualified individuals who, in writing, online or via email, verified their qualification and desire to receive the publication.

Circulation classified as Direct Request from Recipient – Written (including Internet and email), must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Requests must be obtained in writing, online, email or other electronic means.
    • Recipients must provide name and address. See sample print request #1.
    • If name and address are prepopulated, the recipient must provide a signature or respond positively to a yes/no question to accept the subscription. See sample print requests #2 and #3.
    • If the request effort offers other additional products and services, the recipient must be asked, independently of those products and services, to select the publication as an item they wish to receive. See sample print request #4.
  2. Recipients must be in the publication’s field served and meet the definition of qualified recipient.
  3. Requests must be dated and no older than 36 months.
  4. All records to support the request must be maintained for auditor review.

PLEASE NOTE:
A subscription with an address of a company name only (no specified individual), will be reported as a “Direct Request from Recipient’s Company,” not from the recipient.

Telecommunications

Telecommunications represents nonpaid circulation from qualified individuals who, via inbound or outbound phone call, have verified their qualification and desire to receive the publication.

All circulation classified as Direct Request from Recipient –Telecommunications, is acceptable provided the following criteria are met:

  1. Requests are obtained via inbound or outbound phone call.
  2. Recipients must be in the publication’s field served and meet the definition of qualified recipient.
  3. Requests must be dated and no older than 36 months.
  4. The phone interview must:
    • Clearly ask if the recipient would like to receive the publication.
    • Be signed and dated by the interviewer (interview form).
  5. All records to support the request must be maintained for auditor review.

It is acceptable for a spouse, supervisor or authorized assistant to request the publication on behalf of the recipient. If this is the case, telemarketing materials must adhere to the requirements outlined above for telecommunications, and also include all of the following:

  • Identity of the individual making the request.
  • Relationship to the recipient (spouse) or job title (assistant or supervisor).
  • If an assistant, a question acknowledging their authorization to make this request on the recipient’s behalf. For example, “Do you provide administrative support for [recipient] that includes authorization to request subscriptions for this individual? Yes ___ No ___.”

Requests from other individuals(higher management, co-workers, etc.), for a recipient are not acceptable for Direct Request from Recipient, but may qualify either as Direct Request from Recipient’s Company or Other Communications.

PLEASE NOTE:
A subscription with an address of a company name only (no specified individual) will be reported as a “Direct Request from Recipient’s Company,” not from the recipient.

Direct Request from Recipient's Company

Definition & Reporting

Circulation classified as “Direct Request from Recipient’s Company” represents nonpaid circulation requested by a company’s management for specified employees in writing, over the phone, online, or via email. The company’s management has verified the qualification of the recipient to receive the publication. This class of circulation also includes requests from authorized assistants for more than one employee.

In paragraph 3B Age of Source, the publisher discloses nonpaid circulation by source and age of request.

3b _2

As an option, a publisher may disclose the source in more detail by including the method used to obtain the request.

3b _2breakout

Written (including Internet and Email)

Written (including Internet and email) represents nonpaid circulation requested by a company’s management for specified employees in writing, online or via email. The company’s management has verified the qualification of the recipients to receive the publication.

All circulation classified as Direct Request from Recipient’s Company – Written (including Internet and email), is acceptable if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Requests must be obtained in writing, online, via email or other electronic means.
  2. Requests must be from a company for specified employees.
  3. Recipients must be in the publication’s field served.
  4. Recipients must meet the definition of a qualified recipient.
  5. Requests must be dated and not older than 36 months.
  6. For print requests, the letter or form must:
    • Identify the request as from the company for specified employees (i.e., on company letterhead).
    • Include a statement acknowledging desire for employees to receive the publication (i.e., “Please send XYZ Journal to the following employees:”)
    • List intended recipients identified by name and title or function.
    • Include the name of the authorized individual making this request (i.e., department head, general management, etc.)
    • Include the signature and date of authorized individual.
  7. For email requests:
    • The request must also present a personal identifier question for which only the authorized requestor is likely to have an accurate response (since a signature cannot be obtained). Examples of such questions include month of birth, mother’s maiden name, state of birth, first school attended, etc. Different questions must be used for renewals.
  8. For Internet requests:
    • If the requestor is required to use a unique username and password provided by the publisher to access an Internet request form, nothing further is needed.
    • If a request can be completed without a username and password, a personal identifier question is required. Examples of such questions include month of birth, mother’s maiden name, state of birth, first school attended, etc. Different questions must be used for renewals.
  9. All records to support the request must be maintained for auditor review.

Telecommunications

Telecommunications represents nonpaid circulation requested by a company’s management for specified employees via inbound or outbound phone call. The company’s management has verified the qualification of the recipients to receive the publication.

All circulation classified as Direct Request from Recipient’s Company –Telecommunications, is acceptable if: all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Requests are obtained via inbound or outbound phone call.
  2. Requests are from a company for specified employees.
  3. Recipients are in the publication’s field served.
  4. Recipients meet the definition of a qualified recipient.
  5. Requests are dated and not older than 36 months.
  6. The phone interview must:
    • Ask if the publication is desired for employees (i.e., “Would you like this publication sent to some of your employees?”)
    • Obtain a list of intended recipients identified by name and title or function.
    • Include the name of authorized individual making this request (i.e, department head, general management, etc.)
    • Present a personal identifier question for which only the authorized requestor is likely to have an accurate response (since a signature cannot be obtained). Examples of such questions include month of birth, mother’s maiden name, state of birth, first school attended, etc. Different questions must be used for renewals. If the transaction is recorded, confirms the requestor’s identity and the recording is made available for review during the audit, a personal identifier question is not required.
    • Include a signature and date from the interviewer (interview form).
  7. All records to support the request must be maintained for auditor review.

REMINDER:
Direct Request from Recipient’s Company includes requests from authorized assistants for more than one employee. If this is the case, telemarketing materials must adhere to the requirements outlined above for telecommunications and must also include:

  • A question acknowledging the assistant’s authorization to make this request on behalf of the recipients. For example, “Do you provide administrative support for [list of recipients] that includes authorization to request subscriptions for these individuals? Yes ___ No ___.”

Communication Other Than Request

Circulation classified as “Communication Other Than Request” represents nonpaid circulation where the individual or company had written or telecommunication activity with the publication, but for which not all requirements for a direct request were met. Common sources include:

  • Request forms where recipient did not sign the card or answer a yes/no question.
  • Reader service cards where multiple products and services are offered or editorial survey forms where a question acknowledging a desire for the publication was not asked or answered.
  • Requests made by someone other than the recipient are not confirmed as being authorized to request the publication for them.

In paragraph 3B Age of Source, the publisher discloses nonpaid circulation by source and age of request.

3b _3

As an option, a publisher may disclose the source in more detail, by including the method used to obtain the request.

3b _3breakout

 

Association

Nonpaid circulation classified as “Association” represents nonpaid circulation served to members as a free benefit of membership.

In paragraph 3B Age of Source, the publisher discloses nonpaid circulation by source and age of the source.

3b _4

All circulation classified as Association is acceptable if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Recipients are members of an association.
  2. Association is in the publication’s field served.
  3. Recipients are notified the magazine is a benefit of membership.
  4. Enrollment or renewal of the memberships are dated and not older than 36 months.
  5. All records to support the above requirements are maintained for auditor review.

Business Directories and List Sources

Circulation classified as “Business Directories” represents nonpaid circulation served to individuals whose names were selected from business directories or obtained from lists and added to the circulation file.

A “directory” is a generally available public listing, by class or alphabetically, of names, addresses and other data.

Directory

A “list” is generally a customized list of individuals purchased or rented from a third party that is based on publisher-requested criteria. It is typically not for public use.

List

In paragraph 3B Age of Source the publisher discloses nonpaid circulation by source and age of request.

3b _5

All circulation classified as Business Directories or Lists, is acceptable if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Recipients’ names are obtained from a business directory or list.
  2. The directory or list provides sufficient demographic data to confirm the recipients belong to the field served and meet the definition of a qualified recipient.
  3. The directory or list is not older than 36 months.
    • The date of a list is determined by the preparation date on the list.
    • If a specific date is reflected on the cover of a directory, that is the date used to age it.
    • If a directory reflects a year (i.e., 2012 Directory), the date used to age it is January 1 of that year.
    • If a directory reflects a range of years (i.e., 2012-13 Directory), the date used to age it is July 1 of the first year.
  4. All records to support the above requirements must be maintained for auditor review

Acquired Circulation

Circulation classified as “Acquired Circulation” represents nonpaid circulation served to individuals who were previously recipients of another homogeneous publication that ceased issuance. The recipients must be within the surviving publication’s field served and meet the definition of a qualified recipient.

In paragraph 3B Age of Source, the publisher discloses nonpaid circulation by source and age of request.

3b _6

All circulation classified as Acquired Circulation is acceptable if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Publication ceasing issuance is homogeneous in content and field served.
  2. Recipients meet the definition of a qualified recipient.
  3. Recipient is notified that the surviving publication is provided as a replacement to the publication that ceased issuance.
  4. The list provided to the surviving publication must be dated and not older than 36 months.
  5. All records to support the above requirements are maintained for auditor review, upon request.

Other Sources

Other sources may be used to obtain recipient names provided the recipients are within the publication’s field served and meet the definition of a qualified recipient. Examples of other sources include, but are not limited to:

  • Business Letterhead
  • Company personnel rosters
  • Company annual reports
  • Business cards

In paragraph 3B Age of Source, the publisher discloses nonpaid circulation by source and age of request.

3b _7

All circulation classified as Other Sources, is acceptable if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Recipients are in the publication’s field served.
  2. Recipients meet the definition of a qualified recipient.
  3. Source is not be older than 36 months.
  4. All records to support communication and the above requirements are maintained for auditor review, upon request.