BPA responds to digital issues

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Under the new BPA Worldwide rules passed this summer, digital circulation must now be reported separately within the "five calendar year analysis" table of the BPA business and consumer circulation reports. In addition, if the publisher is reporting paid digital distribution, this circulation must be reported separately from nonpaid digital distribution within the table.

Another BPA digital rule: Business publishers are no longer required to collect "personal identifier" information on certain incoming e-mail requests.

"We've often said that we shouldn't have to require this since we have tracking mechanisms available for incoming Internet orders," said Gloria Adams, director of circulation for PennWell's Advanced Technology Division.

Hanley Wood VP-Circulation and Data development Nick Cavnar said he believes the adjusted PI rule will change the way circulators promote through e-mail. "The requests gathered through an online form don't have a recognizable trail similar to an e-mail, so require the personal identifier. I think you will now see circulators develop request forms that can be e-mailed back by the subscriber."

Another rule approved by BPA's board in mid-August may change how media buyers read circ reports. As of the second-half 2004 reporting period, a multititle business publisher may report replies to standardized questionnaires for one of its publications on the circulation report of another of its publications under "communication from recipient or recipient's company (other than request)."

This means that publishers with more than one title may now report both controlled sub qualification forms and other types of "communications" or requests (including things such as census forms, editorial survey forms and questionnaires) that are received by one publication on another publication's statement.

Hearst Business Media's VP-circulation, Barry Green, welcomed the change.

"It may not be that big a deal to a media buyer who actually went to the back [of the report] and looked up what `other sources' meant," Green said. "It really benefits a [publisher] that is dealing with a media buyer who just looked at the sheet and said, `Oh, 10% other source,' and now they can say `Oh, 10% written communication.' It's still not as good as 10% written request, but it's still better."M

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