Paid promotions: considerations for the audit

Magazine media paid promotional programs

Per Rule B 1.1/B 101.1 File Copies, Subscription Promotion Offers, a publisher is required to maintain a file for each audit period that contains examples of all promotional materials used.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • All print offers (blow-in cards, letters, other direct mail pieces)
  • Telemarketing scripts
  • Radio scripts (or recording of radio advertisement)
  • Television scripts and storyboards (or recording of television advertisement)
  • Internet offers (copies of Web pages)
  • Point-of-purchase material (signs, posters, etc.)
  • Advertising campaigns that were printed in the magazine
  • All solicitation pieces used by third-party subscription selling agents

In addition to a review of the promotional material, the auditor will ensure the program was executed in compliance with all AAM guidelines governing a specific type of program. This includes, but is not limited to: confirmation of proof of payment from the subscribers, ensuring payment was made within the required time frame, an analysis of credit cancels, review of any required contracts, and confirmation that payment was net of all considerations for all programs.

It is imperative to the efficiency of the audit that the publication responds in a timely manner to all auditor requests for documentation.

If you have an offer you want to ensure complies with AAM rules and guidelines, you are strongly encouraged to contact AAM. Upon request, AAM provides a confidential review of client programs and provides feedback noting their compliance to AAM rules or states revisions necessary to bring it into compliance.