Customer Support Ruling
Multilayer Pages in Periodicals Publications - Periodicals
UPDATED July 2014
This Customer Support Ruling provides examples of permissible multilayer pages in copies of Periodicals publications.
Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 207.4.4 prescribes that Periodicals publications must be formed of printed sheets. This is a basic eligibility requirement for all Periodicals publications.
DMM 188.8.131.52 provides that a minor portion of the pages in a Periodicals publication may be prepared for other than reading purposes or be printed sheets that contain unusual characteristics. A page must be an integral page of a publication. A page may consist of multilayered printed sheets; the layers can be detachable and/or have instructions for removal. A page may have cut-outs, movable flats or pop-ups. Not all elements that make up a multilayer page must be printed. No portion of a page may consist of a usable product. Following are three examples of permissible multilayer pages that serve as guidance to better understand these principles.
The first example of a multilayer page is a so-called “magic motion” advertisement depicting a face that changes expression, i.e., sad face to happy face. It is understood that the “magic motion” advertisement is comprised of three illustrations that are printed on a sheet of paper, with a ribbed prismatic plastic sheet permanently bonded to it, thereby forming an integral part of the page. When the page is tilted, the image changes.
The second example is a multilayer page that contains instructions for the assembly of a pair of 3-D glasses printed on it. The frames of the "glasses" are to be assembled from two pieces of card stock paper with perforations for detaching. Individual blue and red cellophane panes are glued around the cutouts that formed the lens openings in the frames; no printing appears on the cellophane panes. After assembly, the “glasses” are to be used to view a picture accompanying the text of an article in the publication. When viewing the picture through the glasses, the reader can perceive a 3-D image associated with the article. The 3-D glasses are not an actual product, but intended solely to view an image associated with an article.
The third example is a multilayer page that contains two stickers, which fully adhere to the page. One sticker is printed “FREE BOOK!,” the other “FREE TOTE!.” Information printed on the underlying page promotes membership in a book club. As an incentive, the club is offering a free gift with membership—either a free book or a free tote bag. Prospective new members are directed to peel-off the sticker that indicates the choice between a free book or tote and place it on a detachable reply card to indicate which gift they want to receive. In order for the stickers to be easily removable from the page and remain able to be affixed to the reply card, there is a clear plastic backing between the stickers and the page. The backing is in the shape of each sticker and is permanently adhered to the page. The backing does not bear any printing, but it does serve to support the construction of the multilayer page.
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