Customer Support Ruling
Advertiser Index Page - Periodicals
UPDATED July 2014
This CSR discusses whether an advertiser index page is considered advertising or nonadvertising matter.
The term "advertising" referred to in Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 18.104.22.168, includes, but is not limited to, all material for the publication of which a valuable consideration is paid, accepted, or promised, which calls attention to something for the purpose of getting people to buy it, sell it, seek it, or support it.
DMM 22.214.171.124b and c, provide, in part, that if an advertising rate is charged for the publication of reading matter or other material, such material is 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."
An index of advertisers that is published in copies of a Periodicals publication is considered to be advertising matter for postal purposes if the advertiser pays a consideration for the publication of the reference to his advertisement in that index or he pays for the publication of the advertisement with the understanding that a reference will be made to it in the index. In both of those instances, an index is subject to the advertising zone rates of postage when copies of the publication are mailed and addressed for delivery outside the county of publication. If the foregoing conditions do not exist, the advertiser index page would not be considered to be advertising matter.
Anita J. Bizzotto
Headquarters, US Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436