Multiple subscriptions/single-copy sales to one newspaper

News media paid promotional programs

Applicable Rules: C 1.1/C 101.1 Paid Circulation, C 1.3/C 101.3 Combination Sales, and C 5.3/C 105.3 Single Issue Sales of Back Copies

When multiple subscriptions/single-copy sales to the same newspaper are sold together, all subscriptions are eligible as paid individual subscriptions/single-copy sales if the following requirements are met:

  • Promotional materials state the subscription term, frequency and quantity of subscriptions.
  • For single-copy sales, all issues are current (no back copies).
  • The purchase price is at least one cent, net of considerations, per individual subscription/single-copy sale.
  • The consumer is presented with the option to purchase only a single subscription/single copy.
  • The price of the single subscription/single copy is lower than the bundled price by at least one cent (per subscription/single copy removed from the sale).
  • None of the individual subscriptions/single copies are stated or implied as free, no additional cost, complimentary or other synonymous language.


  • Copies presented or implied as free are only eligible as qualified distribution.
  • Back copies are not eligible for inclusion as paid circulation. An issue of a newspaper becomes a back copy when the following corresponding day’s newspaper becomes available for sale (i.e., Monday issue stays current until the following Monday’s newspaper is available for sale, a Tuesday issue stays current until the following Tuesday’s newspaper is available for sale, etc.).


Example: Multi-Copy Subscription Example

No more sharing!

Buy a one-year, seven-day subscription for the low price of only $99.98!

_____ Yes! I'd like to buy a one-year, 7-day subscription for only $99.98.
_____ Yes! Send me a second subscription for only a penny more.


Example: Multi-Copy Single-Copy Sale Example


Double the coupons and double the comics. Why share when you can get a copy for each of you! Get 2 copies of today's Sunday Illinois Today for only $1.25! *

*A single issue of the newspaper is available for $1.00.