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Magazines.com Deal Responds to ABC Rules

Subscription site Magazines.com partnered with bookseller Books-A-Million to boost newsstand sales while accommodating new rule changes at the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Under the deal, Books-A-Million is the first sponsor of Magazines.com's newsstand returns program. This effort, which redistributes returned copies for public place distribution, was created to meet ABC's new requirements about the types of firms that can buy magazines.

Magazines.com will sell single copies to Books-A-Million for distribution to waiting rooms and other public places. Each copy will have a sponsor sticker on the cover.

ABC rules now define an eligible sponsor as a business that sells products or services to consumers. The auditor also requires data to reflect reporting of average paid and qualified circulation with rate base comparisons.

Subscription agents previously didn't have to prove that sponsors had a legitimate reason to buy copies of magazines. But circulation-inflation scandals have forced the hands of ABC and BPA Worldwide to tighten rules for ensuring advertisers get the circulation they are guaranteed.

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