Below we have summarized new rule amendments and initiatives passed by the Board of Directors at their May 2014 meeting.
Unless otherwise noted, all changes are effective immediately with the June 2014 reporting period.
The Rule Amendments/New Rules may be accessed through the “Rules” link on our home page, or by clicking here. If you prefer, please contact your BPA Brand Development Manager, or any of our audit staff, with any questions. You may also use "Comment" link below to post your thoughts, questions and opinions.
Board Actions Applying to Business Publications and Consumer Magazines
Brand Report Rule Updates: In June 2013, BPA released new Brand reporting rules. After a year of use the Board determined some minor updates were needed.
The following updates were made:
- About the Brand (Rule 1-1 402)
The “About” section, intended to give a media owner the ability to provide more details about the brand channels scope and reach, is now optional.
- Purpose Statement (Rule 1-1 403)
The “Purpose” section allows a media owner to broadly describe the nature of the report and whether the data was integrated or non-integrated. The Purpose Statement is now optional for single-channel (reporting only one form of media) Brand Reports.
- Non-Integrated Reports (Rule 1-1 406)
Currently, non-integrated reports must include a footnote disclosing that no attempt has been made to identify or remove duplication across media channels. The rule was updated to require the duplication footnote only when two or more channels are being reported.
- Event Attendance (Rule 1-1 600)
The Board clarified this rule applies to a channel of a brand, not a full tradeshow audit that is offered under BPA’s iCompli brand.
- Email Reporting (Rule 1-6 411)
(Effective with December 2014 reporting period) To allow for more flexible reporting, the channel profile section will allow reporting of e-newsletters by weekly or monthly averages.
Digital Edition Platform/Device Reporting: Many BPA members are reporting digital editions on their BPA Brand Reports. Currently, most digital editions are “replica” versions reported as “digital” copies. We anticipate members will soon want to report more information about their digital editions, including the digital platform or device served (desktop, tablet, smartphone). The Board updated the rules to provide members with the option of reporting digital copies by the platforms/devices on which they are served.
Reporting Social Media Audience (effective with December 2014 reporting period): Responding to member requests, the Board agreed that reporting the total number of social media connections at the end of the reporting period better serves the media buyer and marketer than the average number of connections for the period that currently appears in the executive summary.
In addition, BPA will display each social media platform’s total participants at the beginning of the period, along with the monthly participants total, to yield a period-ending total for each social media platform on the Brand Report.
Online Business Directories: The Board agreed that online queryable database sources—not including “internet look-ups”—may now be reported in the Business Directory classification.
If a list broker is an authorized re-seller of an established online business directory, and they can support this with proof of the original business directory, then those sources may be classified in the “Business Directories / Online Business Database Sources” category. Otherwise, they are considered as “other” sources.
Online directory sources must be disclosed in the Additional Data/Explanatory notes section of the Brand Report (and identified by name if a single online business directory exceeds 10% or more of the qualified circulation). If the online directory has a published date, it will be used to determine the age of the directory. If no published date is available, the age of the online business directory sources will be the date the source was obtained and/or downloaded.
Board Actions Applying to Consumer Magazines Only
Analyzed Issues: The Board agreed to change the rules to allow consumer media owners to choose their analyzed issue for each reporting period. Since consumer media owners most often promote Total Average Circulation, the need for a standard analyzed issued is not necessary. This will allow owners to highlight their best issue each six months.
Report Streamlining: With input from BPA’s Consumer Audience Development Advisory Committee, the Board reviewed the current reporting requirements for promotional incentives, loyalty point programs, and arrears. While the underlying qualification criteria for each remain unchanged, the advisory committee, and, subsequently, the Board, did not feel the details of each program needs to be disclosed in the Brand Reports.
Board Actions Applying to Daily Newspapers Only
Newspaper Reporting Rules Updates: As the industry moves toward more engagement-type metrics and path-to-purchase behavior combined with traditional circulation data, the BPA/CCAB Board announced a number of rule updates to coincide with these changes.
The following daily newspaper rules were updated:
- Reporting of Paragraph 2a – Average Monthly Circulation – is now optional.
- Audit frequency will change from annual to biennial for newspapers with average paid circulation less than 75,000.
- Dailies serving markets of less than 100,000 population now have the option to report copies by geography and, if included, shall be reported by Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and non-CMA, or City Trading Zone (CTZ), Retail Trading Zone (RTZ) and Other Trading Zone (OTZ).
- Reporting all offers made throughout the period in Paragraph 3 – Premiums, Combinations, Contests and Other Special Offers – is now optional. A comment will now appear in Paragraph 3 that states that all premiums, combination offers, contests or other special offers meet CCAB criteria for qualified paid circulation.
- Reporting of arrears in Paragraph 4 – Arrears Under Three Months, as well as credit allowances in Paragraph 6 – Additional Data - is now optional. A comment will now appear in Paragraphs 4 and 6 stating that all subscribers meet CCAB criteria for qualified paid circulation.
- The number of omission days reported in Paragraph 6 – Additional Data has been reduced from 20 to 10 during any 12-month reporting period.
Reporting EMC Editions in Brand Report: The Extended Market Coverage (EMC) edition, often containing the week’s flyer inserts and distributed every Thursday to non-subscribers, permit full market penetration when combined with delivery to subscribers.
For daily newspapers reporting on the Brand Report, the EMC edition is omitted from the Weekday average and reported in place of the Sunday edition in the executive summary. A disclosure would be made under Paragraph 6 – Additional Data.
Digital Edition Platform Reporting: Many newspaper members are reporting replica digital editions “digital” copies on the newspaper Brand Report. While existing rules provide a definition of the “Statement of Content Platform,” there are no details or options regarding reporting by the device or platform on which they are served. These include desktop/laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. The Board updated the rules to provide members with the option of reporting copies by the devices/platforms on which they are served.