BPAI officially adopts new rules, reporting format

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New York--BPA International Thursday said it will no longer use the century-old 50% rule in reporting paid circulation. The 50% rule, which has been part of the postal code since the 1880s and was adopted by various circulation audit organizations, states that no subscription can be reported as paid unless it is sold for at least half of the basic subscription price set by the publisher. To reflect the change, BPAI has overhauled its circulation statements to more fully disclose what counts as paid circulation. The changes will have little impact on business publishers, since their circulations are mostly controlled. Susan Allyn, associate circulation director for Emap USA and a member of BPA's circulation managers advisor committee, said nuking the 50% rule "takes away any artificial barriers to our being marketers" in terms of the discounts magazines offer to both groups and individuals. "It brings auditing circulation into the 21st century."
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