Chapter A - Publicity

(Download a pdf version of this chapter.)

(Also see AAM Policy Regarding the Copyrighting of Reports and AAM's Publicity Policy)

A 1.1 General Publicity Rule

No member shall publish or cause to be published, or advertise or cause to be advertised, excerpts from the audit reports of AAM; or publish or cause to be published, or advertise or cause to be advertised, excerpts from AAM standard reports, if the excerpts mention in any way, directly or by implication, the name or authority of AAM, except as is permitted under the rules which follow.

A 1.2 Permissions and Prohibitions

(a) AAM authority may be claimed or implied only for data or statements exactly as they appear in AAM reports and only if these data or statements are identified as to the standard AAM report from which they are taken and the period covered; and only if the data or statements are presented in such a manner as to give the reader the same sense or interpretation as though the report or reports quoted from were before him.

(b) Magazines analyzing nonpaid circulation must clearly differentiate between the paid and nonpaid components but will report a total of these components on AAM reports. Comparisons of AAM data must also clearly identify the components being reported.

(c) In any advertisement or publicity where AAM authority or membership is stated or implied, any figures, data or statements that do not appear in standard AAM reports must be clearly identified as being presented by the author of the advertisement or publicity and AAM authority must neither be claimed nor implied for them.

(d) In any situation where a publisher elects to make an announcement regarding the results of an AAM audit report in advance of the actual publication and release of the audit by AAM, the publisher member must identify any/all adjustments to circulation that are to be reported in the audit as having been calculated based on AAM auditors' findings.

(e) Any AAM data used in making comparisons must be from comparable types of reports, comparable circulation classifications, and for identical periods. Data from current publisher's statements or Consolidated Media Reports/quarterly data reports may be compared with audited circulation for the preceding corresponding period. In any comparison between publications, data must be compiled from like reports and circulation classifications, sourced as required by A 1.2(a) and (c) of the rules.

(1) Business publication members may use AAM data to make comparisons for different publisher's statement periods under the following conditions:

(a) The data must be sourced to the most recently released publisher's statement for all publications involved in the comparison.

(b) The publisher's statement for the member making the analysis must be current.

(c) All documents must clearly identify the time periods covered by the publisher's statements being referenced in the comparison.

(d) All other aspects of Rule A 1.2 are applicable.

(2) When comparisons between newspapers are made, comparable data elements must be used. Circulation reported by day-of-week can only be compared across same identical days (Monday to Monday, Tuesday to Tuesday, five-day average to five-day average, etc.).

(a) However, for newspapers published in the United States, representative daily circulation figures (Monday - Saturday) as extracted from AAM's Media Intelligence Center, which may represent differing days of the week, or a combined average, may be used for comparison purposes. If used, such comparisons shall be sourced to the Media Intelligence Center and the reporting period identified and made in accordance with section (f) of this rule.

(f) When a U.S. newspaper compares its circulation to that of other newspapers, the comparison must clearly identify the individually paid, business/traveler, qualified and verified circulation components of the member newspaper, or must make comparisons of the total average circulation only, inclusive of any affiliated publications. If a comparison is made of total circulation only, it should identify that the figures include individually paid, business/traveler, qualified, verified and affiliated publication circulation. Total circulation may not be compared to paid circulation only. In addition, whenever one newspaper makes a comparison to another newspaper that does not report like data elements (e.g., one paper reports affiliated publications and the other paper does not), the analysis must be presented in a fashion so that common data elements can be compared. For example, newspaper A reports affiliated publications, newspaper B does not:



Newspaper A

Newspaper B

Total Average Circulation (Member)



Affiliated Publication Circulation



Total Average Circulation




(g) If data from out-of-date standard AAM reports are shown, comparable data from the latest similar reports must be shown.

(h) Members of AAM shall not reproduce in any way any communications issued by or from AAM or excerpts there from unless direct permission has been given by the management or board of directors.

(i) Publisher members under suspension of service may publish claim of membership only if in connection with each such claim the words ''under suspension of service" are added.

(j) The membership insignia, designed for members and authorized by the board of directors, may be used by any member in good standing on letterheads, advertising matter or any other place where the phrase, ''Member of the Alliance for Audited Media" is legitimate.

(k) AAM members are permitted to reproduce AAM reports for their own publication. However, no modification of the AAM report is allowed; the reproduction must be completely faithful to the original both in terms of the information presented and the report format (including the color of the report). No AAM member shall distribute information concerning other AAM members in a form substantially similar to the appearance of a standard AAM report. With the exception of the parameters set forth above, no member shall distribute information in a form imitative of the appearance of a standard AAM report.

(l) Except with prior written approval of AAM, members or applicants may not refer to AAM bylaws and rules or procedures with respect to reports, which are not prepared by AAM.

(m) After a publisher has submitted circulation data, and its receipt has been acknowledged by AAM, the publisher may publicize the figures from the statement provided the figures, wherever used prior to the release by AAM of the figures in the Snapshot report or in the statement are accompanied by the following qualification: ''As filed with the Alliance for Audited Media, subject to audit."

(n) A publisher applicant, upon acknowledgement by AAM of receipt of both application and initial audit deposit, may publicize the fact of application only for a period of one year from the date the application was received. In the case of newly launched publications, where application has been received prior to the publishing of its initial issue, the fact of application may be publicized for a period of one year following the cover date of the first issue.

(o) The conditions and provisions contained in all references to publishers and all other conditions and provisions in these publicity rules shall be applicable to associate publisher members.

(p) While nothing contained in this article should be construed as prior restraint as it pertains to news stories claiming AAM authority for information excerpted from its reports, this provision does not exempt the member from compliance with all other provisions of this article.

(q) Business publications reporting noncontinuous qualified nonpaid must clearly and separately delineate between nonpaid circulation served on a continuous basis and that served on a noncontinuous basis.

(r) Participants in AAM's Reader Profile and Subscriber Profile services may publicize results of their studies prior to the release of the final audit document provided final researcher tabulations and/or reader information has been submitted to AAM for verification, and provided all such publicity notes that the findings are subject to final audit results.

A 1.3 Violation of Publicity Rules

(a) In the case of a breach of observance of any of the publicity rules, the managing director may call upon the offending member to abandon the act or practice which is a breach. In addition, a bulletin may be issued, said bulletin to be so worded that members may have proper knowledge of the offense (the details of the offense shall not be given if the injury supposed to have been done would be aggravated thereby). The provisions of this paragraph shall not be mandatory upon the managing director. Distribution of bulletins announcing publicity violations shall be limited to members only for internal use and shall not be supplied to members for redistribution.

(b) If, in the opinion of the managing director, the seriousness of the breach of observance of any of the publicity rules of this Chapter A so warrants, the managing director may immediately prefer charges against the offending member or such charges may be filed by any member who feels injured thereby as provided in Article 7 of the bylaws.