Consumer Magazines

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Reported Data

This section sets out other data and information that is reported on the ABC Certificate.


1. Total Average Circulation

You must report the total Average Circulation per issue analysed into UK & Republic of Ireland, and Other Countries, broken out by print and Digital Copy (as applicable), as shown below. Please refer to relevant section for more details.

Primary categories

Circulation categories eligible

Breakdown of copies

Additional analysis

Paid Single Copies

Retail Sales:

  Sale or return

  Firm Sale

Single Copy Sales


Full Rate

Below Full Rate but not less than 20%

Below 20%

Multipack analysis

Paid Subscriptions

Single Copy Subscriptions

All You Can Read Sales

Multiple Subscriptions

Requested Sponsored Subs


Single Copy Subscriptions:

 - Full Rate

 - 20% - 99% of Full Rate

 - Below 20% of Full Rate


All You Can Read Sales



- Multiple Subscriptions

- Requested Sponsored Subscriptions


Membership Copies

Membership Copies (formerly Society)



Paid Multiple Copies

Paid Multiple Copies

Multiple Copy Business Sales (Digital Copy only)


Consumer / location type

Free Copies

Controlled Circulation

Free Requested Delivered


Monitored Free Distribution

Free Retail Voucher

Free Letterbox

Sample Free Distribution


 - Net

 - Gross



 - Net

 - Gross

- Controlled


-Free Requested


- Non-Controlled


- Monitored Free


      Net by hand

      Net Other


- Free Retail


- Free Letterbox

- Sample Free


Sample Free Distribution – by issue


2. Actively Purchased Circulation
  1. We will report an analysis of the paid element of the total Average Circulation which is defined as Actively Purchased, being the sum of circulation from the following categories:

    1. Paid Single Copies (Retail and Single Copy Sales)

    2. Paid Subscriptions - Individual (Single Copy Subscriptions and All You Can Read Sales)

    3. The Actively Purchased circulation will be analysed by print and Digital Copies by UK & ROI, and Other Countries.

3. Issue details, circulations and variances
    1. You must report for each issue in the Reporting Period the issue identifier. For example cover date, issue number

    2. We will report the percentage variance of any issue’s total circulation from the average circulation, where this is greater than 10%.

    3. You must report additional issue circulation figures as follows:

      1. For publications publishing fewer than 18 issues in a calendar year, for each issue:

        • The issue’s identifier and its total circulation*. From periods ending January 2021 this will be analysed by print and digital circulation.

        • The issue’s actively purchased circulation and purchased percentage (print only). 

      2. For publications publishing 18 or more issues in a calendar year:

        • The number of issues distributed/made available in each month (determined as detailed in the section ‘Issues to be Included).

        • The average of the total circulations* of those issues distributed in each month. From periods ending January 2021 this will be analysed by print and digital circulation.

        • The average actively purchased circulation of those issues distributed in each month together with the average actively purchased percentage (print only).  

        • *Not including any adjustments for differences between estimated and actual sales for previous periods (means these breakdowns may not equate exactly to total average net circulation).

4. Duplicate copies
  1. You cannot claim duplicate copies to a known individual unless there is a category available to report them (for example Multiple Subscriptions, Paid Multiple Copies). Note:

    1. A duplicate is defined as two or more occurrences of the same name, or company name (where the addressee is not identified by name or job title) or address unless it can be shown that the copies are distributed to different individual addressees.

5. You may choose to report a Group or Series Certificate
  1. You may choose to report an optional Group Certificate that combines the circulations from 2 or more publications’ Certificates providing:

    1. Each Certificate relates to the same Reporting Standards

    2. Each Certificate is for the same Reporting Period 

    3. It doesn’t include separate print and digital certificates for the same publication, that both contain print and digital sales bundled as a package.

    4. Note: 

          o You may include publications with different publishing frequencies

          o ABC will produce Group Certificates from the data submitted for the constituent publications.

  2. You may choose to report a Certificate for a Series of Publications where:

    1. There is evidence that the publications form part of a series and that they are not ‘one-shots’ which require separate certification.

    2. Each publication is clearly identified as part of the series by the use of a common series logo or appropriate strapline on the front cover

6. Optional analyses
  1. You may request to report additional analyses, derived from (or closely connected with) data reported on the certificate, subject to the following:

    1. The data to be reported on the certificate is, in our opinion:

      • Auditable

      • Clear (terms defined or explained as appropriate)

      • Related to the product being certified

      • Albeit reporting different information, is in keeping with the requirements for data and evidence in relation to the current Reporting Standards. For example: If the breakout is an analysis of subscription bundles, we would expect the evidence levels to be in line with that already in place for subscriptions.  

    2. We will review the request and confirm whether we agree it can be reported, how it will be reported and any requirements in relation to the audit timing or process.

Note: There may be additional costs associated with the preparation of the certificate and audit of the additional data.


No additional guidance.


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