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Talking Publications

A single copy of an issue of a Talking Publication (a publication recorded onto physical storage media) that is distributed to a known individual. Examples of physical storage media include cassette tape, CD, USB memory stick. [Not available to National Newspaper sector]



1. Single copy per issue, distributed to a known individual

2. Individual has opted to receive the talking publication


1. Single copy per issue, distributed to a known individual
  1. You must be able to demonstrate the copy is distributed to the individual.

  2.  You must retain a list of individual recipients (including address details) for all copies claimed in the Reporting Period.

2. Individual has opted to receive the Talking Publication  
  1. The individual must have either specifically purchased the Talking Publication or requested to receive it free.

  2. If it is purchased, the purchase by the consumer may be in cash or by other means agreed by ABC in writing.

  3. If it is a free request you must have third party evidence that the individual has, within the last three years, made a clear request to receive the Talking Publication before you send it to them.


You will report Talking Publications as follows, which will be reported on the Brand or Group Report: 

  1. The Talking Publication product, including name/identifier.

  2. The number of issues in the Reporting Period.

  3. By rate band – paid or free.

  4.  By total average circulation per issue over the Reporting Period.


G1. Single copy distributed to an individual
  1. Distribution evidence: This will usually be from a third party company whose normal business is single copy distribution (such as Royal Mail).  Typically the evidence will include testing the payment of invoices and related advice notes sufficient to identify the publication, issue, quantities and date distributed.

  2. The physical storage medium sent to an individual may contain more than one issue of the Talking Publication or more than one Talking Publication providing this is auditable.

 G2. Individual has opted to receive the Talking Publication 
  1. In relation to purchased copies, cash means legal tender notes and coins, cheque, credit/debit card, wireless payment systems.

  2. In the case of a free request to receive the Talking Publication:

    1. You must have third party evidence that the individual has, within the last three years, made a clear request to receive the publication before you send it to them. The following provide guidance and examples of acceptable methods of achieving this:

      • The requestor must have been asked and agreed, or they have stated, that they wish to receive a copy of the publication. Bear in mind you will need to be able to demonstrate this at audit. For example using a question such as ‘sign here to request a free copy of <publication name> or ‘Complete this form to continue receiving this publication’.

      • There must be a clear separate request to receive the publication that is not combined with a request for another product or service. For example: This means if the requestor is being offered the opportunity to request two or more publications, or register for an exhibition at the same time as requesting the publication, it should be clear to them that they can separately request to receive the publication(or not)  with or without requesting or accepting  the other product/service. You may use separate questions or separate boxes to make it clear what the individual is requesting in this scenario.  

      • For a written or faxed request, the evidence could be demonstrated as third party by requiring the requestor to sign and date the form/request. 

      • For a request made over the telephone, by email or online, the following gives guidance and examples of how details could be demonstrated as third party:

        • Asking the requestor to provide their name and the answer to ABC’s Personal Identifier Question (PIQ) - a memorable question set by ABC and changed each calendar year – details of the current PIQ can be found on the ABC website.

        • In the case of telephone requests, recording the telephone calls in a manner that can be made available for review at audit. If you would like our advice on whether a call recording system might be acceptable please contact us. Note: It remains your responsibility to comply with any legislation regarding the recording of telephone conversations. 

        • It may help if a copy of the data captured via online or telephone campaigns is kept in its original state as once this data is entered or merged onto a main database the audit trail evidencing the collection of the data can be lost. You may also consider retaining invoices from external contractors evidencing the work carried out in this regard.

        • You are advised to retain copies of online forms/screenshots or telephone scripts to provide evidence of questions asked and responses recorded.
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