Nonpaid bulk

Qualifying magazine copies distributed for free at trade shows or retail locations.


Nonpaid bulk circulation represents copies delivered to designated locations for redistribution to recipients unknown to the publisher. Examples of nonpaid bulk include copies distributed at events such as trade shows or available for free pick up at retail locations. See Rule F 13.5/F 113.5 Analyzed Nonpaid Bulk Defined.


Copies classified as nonpaid bulk must meet the following criteria:

  • Distributed to designated locations
  • Available for pick up by individuals
  • Be the current issue (back copies not permitted)


Nonpaid bulk copies are classified as analyzed nonpaid circulation in AAM publisher’s statements and audit reports.

  • Analyzed nonpaid bulk distribution will be included in analyzed nonpaid as a total average in the Executive Summary.
  • Analyzed nonpaid bulk distribution will be included in analyzed nonpaid in the Issue by Issue section.
  • If the magazine claims any rate base or guarantee to advertisers, it will be displayed in the Executive Summary portion of AAM reports. In situations where a publisher elects to make a rate base claim for a segment of circulation, such as paid only or analyzed nonpaid, then the Notes paragraph shall provide this additional disclosure.  See also Rule F 11.1/F 111.1 Advertising Rate Base or Circulation Guarantee.
  • The Supplemental Analysis of Average Circulation section breaks down analyzed nonpaid into these categories: nonpaid bulk. list, market coverage, and/or delivered with host product.

View an example of a publisher's statement reporting nonpaid bulk.

Audit Process

The objectives of the nonpaid bulk audit process include, but are not limited to:

  1. Reconcile, by issue, the nonpaid bulk claims in the publisher’s statement to internal records
  2. Confirm the copies were actually printed
  3. Validate the distribution and availability of the copies. 

To confirm the copies were actually printed and available for distribution, the auditor will review the details of the print order, printer’s invoices and payments of those invoices by the publication.

The validation of distribution and availability of nonpaid bulk copies may be executed by either:

  1. Field testing requiring physical observation of delivery by the audit staff.
  2. Distribution and shipping documents from a recognized independent organization supported by annual requests from the delivery locations.

Field Testing

Prior to delivery, AAM requests the following documentation from the publisher:

  • Distribution route lists
  • Dates of delivery and estimated delivery times
  • Quantities per location or route and restocking process/policy

AAM then coordinates physical observation of delivery and availability by the audit staff. All efforts are made to minimize publisher expenses, but all direct expenses incurred such as travel and lodging are billed to the publisher.

Shipping Documentation with Annual Requests

Field testing by the AAM audit staff is not required if two conditions are met:

  • The shipping or distribution documents from a recognized independent organization (UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL, etc.) are available for review by AAM.
  • Requests from the delivery locations are completed annually and available for review by AAM.

In the absence of annual requests and shipping documentation from a recognized independent organization, field work is necessary to validate delivery and availability of copies claimed as analyzed nonpaid bulk.

Example of Acceptable Request Form:

Street address
City, State ZIP code

Please deliver the magazine title in the quantity noted below. I agree to make these copies available for pick up by patrons at the location(s) indicated.


Magazine title(s) ____________

Frequency ____________

Copies per issue ____________


Company name ____________

Distribution address ____________(where copies are made available for pick up)

Distribution location(s) ____________(rack, counter, entryway, booth, etc.)

Name of Requestor ____________

Title ____________

Phone (___)_______

Email ____________



* This request is valid for one year from the date signed. For delivery beyond one year, annual requests are required.