Magazines granted cheaper postal rate

A thorny issue in the ongoing tussle between the magazine industry and the Royal Mail has finally been resolved.

The Royal Mail has agreed to give magazine publishers special dispensation when it introduces its new size-based pricing policy. Magazines are to be given extra leeway before being classed as a packet rather than a letter, potentially saving the industry thousands a year in postage costs.

The agreement settles the latest in a long line of disputes over size-based pricing, which is expected to come into effect by April 2006.

The magazine industry body, the Periodical Publishers Association, has been lobbying to protect publishers from the Royal Mail's changes, which are threatening some subscription-based titles with extinction.

Nicole Rowe, the director of circulation at the PPA, said: "We have resolved a major issue, and we're happy that the Royal Mail has listened to our concerns. But this is only one element of size-based pricing we need to agree on."

The magazine industry is worth £350 million to the Royal Mail every year.

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