Thursday, October 20, 2011

Publishers surprised about Canada Post restrictions on half-wrap covers

Canada Post -- citing "health and safety" concerns -- will be limiting half-wrap covers on magazines. They will only be allowed on the front (see a typical newsstand copy of The Walrus) if the back cover is a full page size. Until now, magazines have been able to have half-wraps or half-overcovers front and back. It's not clear what the safety issue might be (paper cuts?).
Although it was announced last summer amidst a flurry of other changes, the decision by Canada Post to restrict the use of cover wraps on magazines has caught some publishers by surprise. Perhaps part of the surprise springs from the misnomer "gatefold" that Canada Post used to describe the cover wraps. In industry parlance, a gatefold more usually a double width cover that folds inside the front of the magazine.
A story on PrintCAN, the website of Graphic Monthly Canada says the restrictions come into effect in January. Another proposed change that was announced in the summer involved changed specifications to business reply cards but, after a flurry of protest and complaints from direct mailers and publishers, Canada Post deferred the implementation (originally to start in January) until next July, to allow for consultations.

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