The rules governing newspaper voucher promotions – such as the recent controversial one penny Euro 2000 promotion by Express Newspapers – are poised to undergo a major change.

Following pressure from within the industry, the Audit Bureau of Circulations will this month introduce new rules imposing on voucher promotions the same criteria as cover price offers. This means that sales resulting from drastic price cuts will no longer qualify for inclusion in a newspaper's ABC sales figure. Voucher deals lower than a paper’s cover price must exceed the amount paid to its distributors before a sale can be registered as a genuine.

The new rules were sparked by competitors’ complaints about recent Express promotions which restored its sagging circulation above the one million mark. Says Guy Zitter managing director of the Daily Mail: "This shows that the ABC is clearly concerned … I'd say that it's a good move. It's clear the rules do need to be changed."

Express Newspapers' director of circulation Richard Miller was defiant: "If people are whinging, it's because we've got in first and done something to elevate our sales. They've missed the opportunity that we took."

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)