Reporting Standards for print and digital editions of products registered in the Business Magazines sector.
View Full Standards
( printable PDF )
- Controlled Free Circulation
- Free Requested Delivered Copies
- Non-Controlled Free Circulation
- Monitored Free Distribution
- Sample Free Distribution
Paid Single Copies
- Retail Sales (Sale or Return)
- Retail Sales (Limited Sale or Return)
- Retail Sales (Firm Sale)
- Single Copy Sales
- Digital Licences
- Geographical Analysis
- Demographic Analysis
- Issues to be included / excluded
- Reporting Periods
- Return Form Submission, Audit, Certification
- Personal Identifier Question
Digital only issues and Digital only magazines [effective from periods ending January 2021]: From 2021 you may report an issue (or issues) comprised of solely digital copies on a Business Magazine certificate (i.e. an issue does not need a ‘print parent’).
Free Requested Delivered Copies [effective from periods ending January 2021]: From 2021 you will be able to claim copies in a new category of circulation, called Free Requested Delivered Copies. Already available in other ABC sectors, this category allows you to claim free copies requested by individuals, without the additional information required currently under Controlled Circulation.
Issued October 2020
Changes to Coronavirus temporary variations:
For reporting periods ending December 2020 you may select any issue to be your analysed Audit Issue.
You may opt to report issues distributed post-lockdown in March, up to 31st December 2020 that are affected by coronavirus restrictions on a separate COVID-19 certificate. Issues distributed pre-lockdown in March and from January 2021 onwards will be included in trend reporting on the relevant ‘normal’ certificate.
Other temporary variations listed on our Coronavirus page will continue, to be reviewed again in March 2021.
Temporary standards changes issued to help address the challenges of coronavirus.
Issued March 2020
ROI publications that previously reported under separate ROI Business Magazine standards will now report under these standards.
Brand and Group Reports: Publishers can now report Google Analytics 'Users' on ABC Brand or Group Reports to demonstrate their online brand reach. This provides a cost-effective alternative to our more detailed Web Traffic certificate.
Brand Reports and Group Reports:
A distinction is made between ABC reports that bring together ABC audited products for a single brand (Brand Report) or for a number of different brands (Group Report).
Data from different ABC certificates can be aggregated under certain circumstances (key being it’s the same metric for the same reporting period).
Digital Publications Standards: Where digital copies are sold bundled with another ABC claimed product, and they are claimed as circulation on an ABC Digital Publication certificate (which is separate to the print certificate), they must be reported in the ‘bundle’ category.
Membership Copies: Copies may now be reported in this category where they are circulated to a society member as a benefit of their membership.
Sample Free Distribution: Amendments to the requirements for pre-approval by ABC and claiming of back issues
Digital Editions: Requests for the publication do not need to specify Digital Edition format
Group certificates: These are no longer available
New ABC Standards have been agreed for Business Magazines. The link above details significant changes in reporting and circulation requirements that will come into effect from Reporting Periods ending June 2018
An example certificate illustrating the new design and layout can be viewed here. Please note this includes examples of optional data and tables
Digital Editions: You may claim Digital Edition copies in the Controlled Company Requested category
Demographic reporting: We have simplified the options for reporting demographic data
Digital Editions: You may claim Digital Edition copies in the Controlled Non-Requested category
If you require information on any earlier changes please contact us.
Reporting Standards Group (RSG)
The Reporting Standards Group (RSG) members below have been approved by the ABC Board and represent the wider membership in the development of the Reporting Standards. As an ABC member, if you have any issue or request about these standards, you can contact us or any of the RSG members below.
Amanda Wigginton, Consultant, PPA
Chris Jones, Circulation & Database Operations Manager, Mark Allen Group
James Mullender, Audience Manager & Data Protection Officer, Western Business Media Limited
James Weatherill, Head of B2B, Mindshare
Kevin Hickman, Head of Marketing, emap
Mark Ashley, Client Services Director, Ptarmigan Media
Mark Evans, Publishing Director, Perspective Publishing Ltd
Robert Walker, Manager - Investment, MediaCom
Steve Morgan, Client Services Manager, Air Business Subscriptions
|Dec End Period||1st February|
|Jun End Period||1st August|
Business Media report
View the latest report for this sector and find out when the next report is released.
If you require past versions of Reporting Standards you can find them here.
- Business Magazines 2020 Version 3
- Business Magazines 2020 Version 2
- Business Magazines 2020 Version 1
- Business Magazines 2019 Version 1
- Business Magazines 2018 Version 3
- Business Magazines 2018 Version 2
- Business Magazines 2018 Version 1
- Business Magazines 2017 Version 2
- Business Magazines 2017 Version 1