Options extended for Free Distribution

controlled circulation1


Our Consumer Magazine Reporting Standards Group (RSG) has agreed an amendment to ABC standards that will give publishers greater flexibility to demonstrate how they use new routes to market.

The change relates to Controlled Free Circulation, a category for reporting copies that are distributed free to a defined group of individuals.

The existing standards require the publisher to retain, for audit, individuals names and addresses for all controlled circulation copies. The change means that if a publisher uses a new route to market where the individuals’ details are not available, they may ask ABC to review the process. We will then determine if the principles of Controlled Circulation can be met without the need to provide the recipients’ name and address, or test for duplicates against other mailed copies.

This rule amendment has been brought forward and agreed by agency, advertiser and media owner representatives to help support publisher growth that continues to meet our robust industry standards.

Steve Hare, Head of Publishing, Digital Trading & Cinema at Initiative, sits on our Consumer Magazines RSG and was involved with the development of the new rule. He said, “ABC is one of the key independent and trusted data sources we use to decide if ad campaigns will effectively target our key audiences. This latest rule change brings the vital ABC ‘stamp of trust’ and authority to new distribution methods, ensuring our clients have the opportunity to benefit from media owners’ success in targeting new readers.”

Justine Southall, MD of Fashion and Beauty, Time Inc UK, said, “ABC has again shown its agility in facilitating change to meet the needs of the industry. One of the innovations we are most proud of has been the distribution of Marie Claire to a wider, highly targeted and engaged audience via Fabled by Marie Claire, our associated beauty online retailer and store. This rule change has enabled us to prove to buyers that these copies are valued as they have been distributed and verified to transparent, industry agreed standards.”

Jan Pitt, Commercial Director at ABC, explains, “Innovation in publishing needs to be supported by the buying community in order to be truly effective for both parties. We’re pleased to offer this rule change that gives our publisher members additional freedom to explore new routes to market whilst reassuring buyers that stringent, industry agreed standards are being met.”

For more information about our recent rule changes, please contact Charlotte Brown, Senior Account Manager on 01442 200803 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can find out more about our RSGs and how we facilitate the development of industry standards here.

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