Ask AAM: What’s the Difference Between Qualified Retail/Business and Verified Racks and Other Distribution?

How to tell if a newspaper at the entryway of the grocery store is qualified nonpaid or verified nonpaid.


In a previous article, we explained the differences between qualified nonpaid and verified nonpaid newspaper circulation. Here’s an easy shorthand way to remember:

If something is known about the end user = qualified nonpaid

If the end user is entirely unknown = verified nonpaid

This still applies when talking about qualified retail/business and verified racks and other distribution, but the differences are a bit more nuanced. Let’s look at a few examples to help illustrate the differences.


Example #1

Bob’s Barbershop frequently advertises in The Daily News. Bob Smith, the owner of Bob’s Barbershop, has requested three copies of The Daily News to be delivered to the shop Monday through Friday for the next six months. It’s a great benefit for Bob’s customers and for the newspaper to gain exposure to new potential subscribers. The copies are placed on a table in the waiting area for easy access by patrons.

The newspaper copies delivered to Bob’s Barbershop are considered qualified retail/business because:

  • Bob, the owner of the shop, has requested the copies and determined the number to be distributed.
  • Bob places the newspapers in an easily accessible area for patrons.
  • Access to the newspaper is controlled because only Bob’s customers sit in the waiting area.
  • Bob’s receipt of the newspapers is recurring and longer than three months (Note: If less than three months, the copies would be classified as verified racks and other distribution).
  • The publisher of The Daily News maintains a record of Bob’s name, company, address, and number of requested copies for each day of the week.


Example #2

The Gazette-Item is a free weekly newspaper available for pickup from a rack at the bus stop on the corner of Main and Elm streets. The publisher fills the racks several times a week with the current issue. Anyone walking by the rack can take a copy of the newspaper.

The newspaper copies supplied at the bus stop are considered verified racks and other distribution because:

  • The publisher controls what public place the newspaper is distributed, how many copies to provide and how often to fill the rack. No one has requested these copies.
  • The end user of the publication is completely unknown to the publisher.
  • The placement of the copies isn’t necessarily recurring. The publisher may decide to stop supplying the newspaper at the bus stop at any time.
  • The publisher of The Gazette-Item maintains a record of the rack location, how many copies were included and the date of distribution.


For more information about newspaper distribution categories or how to understand AAM newspaper reports, please contact AAM.

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