Print media distribution

Print Media Distribution

Arcep opens a public consultation on the rules to determine point of sale copy numbers


The “Bichet Act” [1] entrusts the print media industry’s inter-professional organisation with the task of establishing rules governing press title assortment, and determining the quantities displayed at points of sale (PoS) for publications registered with France’s Joint Commission for Press Publications and Agencies (CPPAP [2]) but which are not political or general news publications. Negotiations thus far have not managed to achieve broad enough consensus amongst the sector’s stakeholders for a planned agreement to be put into effect.

Without an inter-professional agreement, it will be up to Arcep to establish these rules

Arcep remains heavily in favour of seeing an inter-professional agreement reached on this issue. However, in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Bichet Act, should such an agreement fail to be reached, it would be up to Arcep to establish the terms and conditions governing newsagents’ access to this category of print media publication.

It was within this context that Arcep launched a first public consultation that ran from 18 December 2020 to 1 February 2021, querying stakeholders on draft assortment rules for general interest news publications, which are not part of general interest print publications. Players’ feedback on this first consultation are currently being examined, and the consultation being launched today follows through on this work.

Adapting the quantities of each press title displayed at points of sale based on each one’s sales potential, and reducing the number of unsold products

Arcep is proposing rules that would create the ability to set a maximum number of copies for each type of issue (main, special edition, offshoot) for each “CPPAP” title that is not a political or general news publication. The point of sale would be required to accept delivery of all of the copies of an issue when their number is below or equal to the maximum set for said publication.

The proposed maximum quantity will be equal to average sales of that magazine’s issues for the past 12 months in the point of sale, plus a supplement. For the best selling titles, this supplement would be a percentage of average sales. For titles with the lowest sales, it would be a set number of copies. The purpose of the supplement is to reconcile the goal of reducing unsold inventories while ensuring that quantities displayed in points of sale are always large enough to satisfy reader demand. Arcep is proposing to establish default parameters to determine the size of this supplement. Given the particular features of the different points of sale, each PoS could modify these parameters for each non-political or general news “CPPAP” title, if it better aligns with their particular situation.

Arcep providing newsagents with a simulation tool to test how these rules affect their point of sale

To enable market players to assess the impact of this proposal, as an adjunct to the consultation document, Arcep is making available to tool for simulating the effect that the different parameters have on reducing a point of sale’s unsold products, and replenishment needs, which each PoS can configure using their own sales history.

This public consultation will run until 11 June 2021.

Under the hypothesis that an inter-professional agreement will not be reached before the end of this public consultation, after having taken into consideration all of the contributions it will have received, Arcep plans on drafting a single decision that defines both assortment rules, and rules for determining the quantities displayed at points of sale for publications registered with France’s Joint Commission for Press Publications and Agencies, but which are not political or general news publications. This decision too will be submitted to public consultation.

 


[1] Amended Act No. 47-585

[2] CPPAP : Commission Paritaire des Publications et des Agences de Presse

 

Associated documents: