Customer Support Ruling

Mobile Barcodes (QR Codes) Printed in Periodicals Publications

UPDATED July 2014

PS- 338 (207.3.6)

This CSR discussses the use of Mobile Barcodes in a Periodicals publication to determine whether it would be considered advertising or nonadvertising content.

Mobile Barcodes, commonly called QR Codes, are printed in Periodicals to provide a link to additional information related to the nonadvertising content or to additional information about a product or service advertised within.

Mobile barcodes that direct readers to nonadvertising content that was omitted because of time, the number of pages it might occupy, or the medium in which it was created, are included in the total nonadvertising content in the issue. For example, Mobile Barcodes that direct a reader to scan to “Learn more” or to view a video about the subject introduced in text are considered nonadvertising.

Mobile barcodes that provide a link to additional advertising for any product, or service, for other magazines, for “cents off” or special offers, or that direct the reader to publisher’s own advertising, must be marked as advertising and are included in the total advertising content for the issue.

A mobile barcode placed in an ad without contextual language defining it’s use will be considered advertising.


Lizbeth Dobbins


Product Classification

Headquarters, US Postal Service

Washington, DC  20260-5015