Customer Support Ruling

Advertising Matter - Periodicals

UPDATED July 2014

PS-047 (

This CSR provides a definition of advertising matter in a Periodicals publication.

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), provides that the term "advertising" includes all material for the publication of which a valuable consideration is paid, accepted, or promised, that calls attention to something for the purpose of getting people to buy it, sell it, seek it, or support it.  Moreover, if an advertising rate is charged for the publication of reading matter or other materials, such material shall be deemed to be "advertising".  Articles, items, and notices in the form of reading matter inserted in accordance with a custom or understanding that textual matter is to be inserted for the advertiser or his products in the publication in which a display advertisement appears are deemed to be "advertising".  If a newspaper or periodical advertises its own services or issues, or any other business of the publisher, whether in the form of display advertising or editorial or reading matter, this is deemed to be "advertising".  Public service advertisements, for which no consideration has been paid, are not considered advertising for postal purposes.

There is no distinction between paid advertising (published in behalf of other persons, institutions, or concerns) and institutional (in-house) advertising as it relates to total advertising content of an issue.

DMM and provides that issues of Periodicals Nonprofit rate or Classroom rate publications containing 10% or less advertising shall be computed at the nonadvertising rate.  The zone rates are applicable to issues in which the advertising portion exceeds 10%.

As prescribed in DMM 207.16.2, a copy of each edition of each issue (marked to show the advertising content) must be filed by the publisher with the postmaster of the original entry office or the postmaster of the additional entry office where the publication is produced or prepared for mailing.  However, an organization which publishes a publication authorized to be mailed at the Periodicals Nonprofit prices or Classroom prices is not required to provide a zone breakdown of the advertising portion if it does not exceed 10% in each issue.  The total portions of the publisher's advertising and the advertising published in behalf of other persons, institutions, or concerns which are shown in each copy are considered when making determinations as to whether the advertising content exceeds 10%.

Sherry Suggs


Mailing Standards

Headquarters, US Postal Service

Washington DC  20260-3436