Paid subscriptions using the word “free”

News media paid promotional programs

Applicable Rule: C 1.1/C 101.1 Paid Circulation

If part of a subscription term is promoted as free, the entire term of service is eligible as paid individual subscriptions if the following requirements are met:

  • Promotional materials state the subscription term and frequency.
  • The purchase price is at least one cent, net of considerations.
  • Contract portion of the offer states the full-delivery term and purchase price of the subscription.

The contract portion of the solicitation is:

  • The direct mail piece where the consumer chooses the purchase option (i.e., by checking a box).
  • The order page on the Internet (or shopping cart summary).
  • The point of verbal agreement in a telemarketing script or inbound call.


  • If part of a term is presented as free in easy pay offers, the promotional material must contain language that implies value to the free term.
  • Copies presented or implied as free without the contractual statement of full term and price are only eligible as qualified home delivery address specific.



Buy or renew a Monday-Sunday subscription to The Gazette today at regular prices and get up to three extra months absolutely FREE!
Yes! Sign me up for or renew my 7-day subscription today!
_____ 1 month for $10 plus 1 month free - that's 2 months for the price of 1.
_____ 3 months for $30 plus 1 month free - that's 4 months for the price of 3.
_____ 6 months for $60 plus 2 months free - that's 8 months for the price of 6.
_____ 1 year for $100 plus 3 months free - that's 15 months for the price of 12.


Sign up for Easy Pay today and get your first month subscription to The Gazette absolutely FREE!
That's right, the first month is on us!
Yes! Sign me up for Easy Pay today and get one month completely free!
That's your first two months for the price of one.
_____ 7-day ($9.00 per month)
_____ 6-day ($7.00 per month)
_____ Weekend only ($5.00 per month)
_____ Sunday only ($4.00 per month)