COVID-19 accommodations for B2B/farm media audits and reporting

FAQs on the impact of COVID-19 on AAM reporting.

Can we send a digital-only edition to subscribers who have requested to receive both a print and digital edition?

 Yes, you can serve print and digital unduplicated subscribers the digital-only version for any issue. Since the subscriber has already opted in to receiving the digital edition, you do not have to obtain a separate request. These would be claimed as digital only as the subscriber is not being served the printed copy.

 

Will AAM waive the requirement to record request solicitation or requalification telemarketing efforts during the pandemic?

AAM rules do not mandate that request solicitation or requalification efforts be recorded. While these recordings prove useful for audit purposes, Personal Identification Questions (PIQs) are still acceptable for AAM audits.  

 

In addition to the existing options of not reporting, or projecting the Age of Source Analysis, will AAM also allow for a shortened option?

AAM will also allow publishers to report in the following format:

age-of-source-faqs

 

Will AAM extend Age of Source reporting?

As previously communicated, publishers have the option of projecting the Age of Source data for the June and December 2020 and June 2021 publisher’s statement from their December 2019 publisher’s statement. AAM understands the actual age of some sources may exceed 36 months due to a delay in requalification efforts during this time. This situation will not disqualify copies served, provided once normal business resumes requalification efforts are initiated.

Here is the original Q&A posted in April 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic:

Our requalification efforts have been impacted by the coronavirus. What options do we have to continue the qualification of subscribers?

For the analyzed issue in the June and December 2020 reporting period, you may report as normal or project from the analysis on your December 2019 statement. You may also elect to eliminate the Age of Source paragraph for the June and December 2020 statement. If you do report this paragraph and project the data from the December 2019 report, we understand and accept that this may be a second or third projection for some titles.

 

If I projected paragraph 3b data for the analyzed issue for my December 2019 publisher’s statement and the analyzed issue for the June and December 2020 publisher’s statement per the coronavirus exception, do I have to report actual data for the June 2021 publisher’s statement?
No, AAM is extending all COVID-19 accommodations through the end of June 2021 including June 2021 statements.

 

In a previous question you referred to paid circulation converting to digital. Does the same apply to controlled circulation?
Yes. Digital copies may be served as replacements for controlled print subscriptions provided the publisher maintains records showing the subscriber was notified of the conversion and is able to access the digital copy. If subscribers decline the digital service, they must be excluded from the circulation claims. Beginning July 2021, the subscription must revert to print.

 

Can we serve back copies if the timelines extend beyond typical AAM rules?
Yes. We understand that many organizations are experiencing changes to their work situation such as closures, remote work and reduced staff. This may impact your ability to start new business and require you to send subscribers back copies. Beginning March 9, 2020, until June 30, 2021, AAM is qualifying this type of back copy of new subscribers.

 

Can we continue to claim copies mailed even if we don’t meet the timelines outlined in AAM rules?
Yes. We understand that many organizations are experiencing changes to their work situation such as remote work, limited office reopening and reduced staff. This may impact your ability to effectively process the production and mailing of the main issue file. Beginning March 9, 2020, and continuing through the end of June 2021, please make a notation in the notes section of your report when this type of late mailing occurs. It may be something as simple as:

Due to restrictions enacted during the coronavirus pandemic, the (issue dates) were mailed past original anticipated mailing date.

 

Can AAM extend the period for post-expiration service?
Yes. Beginning March 9, 2020, until June 30, 2021, AAM will qualify extended service of post expiration copies while you are working to renew them. You will need to explain the volume of copies served in the notes section of the publisher’s statement. It may be something as simple as:

Due to restrictions enacted during the coronavirus pandemic, X,XXX post-expiration copies were served to subscribers to ensure their service was not disrupted.

 

Can I substitute digital copies to print subscribers?
Yes. We understand that many production departments and delivery forces are being overwhelmed by the coronavirus and are unable to deliver print copies to paid subscribers. Digital copies may be served as replacements for print paid subscriptions provided the publisher maintains records showing the subscriber was notified of the conversion and is able to access the digital copy.  If subscribers decline the digital service, they must be excluded from the circulation claims. Beginning July 2021, the subscription must revert to print.

 

Can we project demographic data from an earlier issue or use source documents beyond 36 months?
Yes, AAM is accepting demographic data that is in excess of 36 months for use in reporting and is allowing you to project your demographic information for the analyzed issue. If necessary, AAM will provide additional guidance beyond the June 2021 period.

 

Our requalification efforts have been impacted by the coronavirus. What options do we have to continue the qualification of subscribers?
For the analyzed issue in the June and December 2020 and June 2021 reporting period, you may report as normal or project from the analysis on your December 2019 statement. You may also elect to eliminate the Age of Source paragraph for the June and December 2020 and June 2021 statement. If you do report this paragraph and project the data from the December 2019 report, we understand and accept that this may be a second, third or fourth projection for some titles.

 

If a business continues to be closed or with limited occupancy, can we hold the copies and mail them later?
Yes. AAM understands that many businesses moved to a work from home environment, some may be closed and others may be operating in a limited capacity. You may hold the copies and deliver them to the business beginning July 2021.

 

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding Covid-19's impact on your audit or reporting, please contact us.