Customer Support Ruling
Questionnaires/Reader's Profile - Periodicals
UPDATED July 2014
This CSR discusses whether a "reader profile" questionnaire is considered advertising or nonadvertising matter.
Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 126.96.36.199d provides, in part, that 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."
A questionnaire of a publisher which bears the heading "Reader's Profile" is printed on a sheet that forms two pages of a Periodicals publication. The questionnaire which is designed to be sent to subscribers of the publication contains questions about subscriptions, books, ownership, purchases, sound recordings, education levels, and the number of persons in a household. The questionnaire appears to be designed for the purpose of compiling a profile of the publication's subscribers and their interests. It does not offer particular products or services for sale. Thus, the information on the questionnaire does not constitute advertising matter within the meaning of DMM 188.8.131.52d.
Anita J. Bizzotto
Headquarters, US Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436