Are you in compliance with the 75 percent rule?

Posted April 26, 2014

There’s been an uptick in recent years of newspapers found in violation of the 75 percent advertising rule, which prohibits periodicals from running more than 75 percent advertising percentage in more than half the issues in a 12-month period. 

The problem: because of the reduction in ROP advertising and the increase in preprinted advertising, the advertising percentage in many newspapers has risen significantly.

The National Newspaper Association says the exact wording of the rule is in DMM 707.6.1.3: “General publications primarily designed for advertising purposes do not qualify for Periodicals mailing privileges, including publications that: a. Contain more than 75 percent advertising in more than half of the issues published during any 12-month period.”

National Newspaper Association members and others who join to get our assistance have been jarred by letters from the Pricing and Classification Service Center in New York City threatening loss of periodicals mailing privileges for this violation.

“The loss of periodicals privileges would mean immediate rate increases for newspapers that would then have to be mailed at standard rates," said Tonda Rush, NNA chief executive officer. "It could also mean a day or more of delay in service, as standard mail is supposed to be a deferrable service when mail volume is high. For many newspapers, it also could lead to the loss of public notice advertising, because many state statutes require a periodicals permit for official newspaper eligibility. So the consequences of losing a permit can be severe, even life-threatening."

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