ABC considers rule change in response to penny vouchers

Penny vouchers, which allow consumers to pay 1p for a newspaper, are likely to be classed as bulk sales under changes to circulation rules.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) is thought to be considering changing the rules at its next council meeting. The proposed changes would mean penny vouchers were no longer classed as full-rate sales.

Penny vouchers have been used by the Scotsman as a marketing device. It ran a direct mail campaign, distributing vouchers that were redeemable against the price of a newspaper if customers paid a penny.

The vouchers helped the Scotsman increase its average circulation for the six months to December to 100,441, up 32.58 per cent year on year.

However, other media owners consider the promotion contrary to the spirit of the rules, which lay down that where newspapers are distributed free on trains, planes and in hotels to readers, they are classified as bulk sales.

Newsagents have also become disgruntled because, after accepting a voucher and a penny for the newspaper, they have to wait to be reimbursed by their local distributors.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here