The JICMAIL board (which includes advertising industry bodies, such as DMA, IPA and ISBA) has approved a change to the JICMAIL funding model from a subscription-based approach to a levy on advertising mail products (Advertising Mail and Door to Door) to expand the access to JICMAIL data across the industry and create a sustainable future for this important industry standard.

The JICMAIL Levy is now live for Royal Mail Door to Door customers and for Royal Mail, Retail and Wholesale advertising mail customers.

The recent lockdowns have reiterated the value of the mail channel with mail interactions at record highs. JICMAIL is the trusted, shared and accepted, industry gold standard data source that measures these interactions and provides all interests data driven insights to better plan, implement and evaluate their campaigns, helping the advertising work as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

The change benefits everyone in the advertising and marketing industry with a stake in the value delivery of the mail channel, this includes opening up JICMAIL’s availability to SMEs at a time most needed to support their growth through more effective campaign planning.

To collect the levy the Board of JICMAIL has requested Royal Mail to apply a small per item payment for applicable advertising mail products that it will add to its invoicing for the relevant mail tariffs. The levy will be raised at 0.3% which equates to a fractional per item contribution of £3 per £1000 of advertising mail postage expenditure.

  • Based on a median advertiser annual expenditure of c£50,000 this amounts to a levy contribution of just £150.
  • For 2021, the levy is capped at £5,000 per year for any levy payer (see below for full details).
  • The levy represents the most equitable and cost-efficient funding model at a fraction of a penny contribution of advertising mail.

The new levy will be billed either directly or through intermediaries, to the organisation paying the postage charges for advertising mail to Royal Mail. It will be marked on all Royal Mail invoices for transparency.

The payment of the levy is voluntary and the industry will rely upon a shared commitment to the levy contribution, but if any customer mailer wishes to be refunded the levy they have paid, then they will need to make a claim to JICMAIL providing the reasons they do not wish to support this industry initiative and verify the refund required (see below for full details). 

All subscribers will need to be registered at JICMAIL and be accredited annually to maintain access.  

A BETTER WORLD

  • The new voluntary levy enables a dramatic expansion of JICMAIL access across the industry to all levy payers, their partner intermediaries, and agencies, creating a step change in the impact of trusted, transparent, and accepted gold standard data across the ecosystem
  • Accelerating the value impact of JICMAIL to hundreds of businesses providing them with marketing benefits at a time of great challenge for all industry participants and for the common good of the industry
  • Providing transparency and assurance on data quality and standards for the core mail industry data set for years to come

JICMAIL (The Joint Industry Currency for Mail) is not for profit and owned by the industry, providing industry standard audience measurement data for advertising mail.

If there are further questions, then please contact the JICMAIL team.  Mark Cross, Engagement Director at mark@jicmail.org.uk or Tara Pickles, Customer Support Manager at tara@jicmail.org.uk.

 

JICMAIL LEVY Q&As

What is JICMAIL?

  • JICMAIL (The Joint Industry Currency for Mail) is the industry standard audience measurement data for advertising mail, covering business mail, addressed advertising mail and door drops, and serving the marketing services community.
  • JICMAIL provides industry accepted and trusted gold standard data and insight that helps all the industry interests better plan, implement, and evaluate their campaigns.

 

How is JICMAIL governed?

  • JICMAIL is structured like other Joint Industry Currencies (such as BARB, RAJAR or PAMCo), is a not-for-profit organisation, owned by the industry with independent governance from across the buy side (represented by ISBA & IPA) and the sell side (represented by Royal Mail & Whistl) and is independently chaired by the DMA.

 

What data is captured?

  • The JICMAIL currency is based on a nationally representative panel of UK households, enabling us to measure the reach and frequency across different mail types. These JICMAIL metrics provide the same level of data for evaluating the audiences and impact of direct mail that has been available for TV, radio and press for a number of years, and is now giving planners a common currency for advertising mail in the wider mix
  • The data shows us that a piece of direct mail received in a household is not a single event, but rather achieves a frequency of more than four exposures. Advertising mail has multiple touchpoints that can resonate for days, weeks and even months. JICMAIL quantifies how people return to pieces of mail, they share them with others and, importantly, go on to take tangible commercial actions

 

Who operates the JICMAIL panel?

  • The panel is recruited and managed on behalf of JICMAIL by Kantar, a global research and data organisation with a heritage in media measurement services such as JICMAIL.

 

Why are you changing the funding model?

  • A commitment to improving marketing effectiveness and transparency has galvanised our industry and the need to ensure robust independent audience data from sources such as JICMAIL, is recognised as an essential element within this effort. Given this context, subscribers suggested changing the current subscription approach to a levy-based model, to accelerate and normalise the access to JICMAIL across the full marketplace so that the benefits of the data can be more widely felt. The COVID-19 pandemic and pressing economic recovery have amplified these compelling reasons to change.

 

Who will benefit from this change?

  • Everyone in the advertising and marketing industry with a stake in the value delivery of the mail channel. Specifically, all payers of the levy and their approved agencies and intermediaries who can now access the data to maximise the value delivered to advertisers through mail.
  • A significant benefit of the change is to open up JICMAIL’s availability to all mail users regardless of size, and thereby supporting SMEs at this critical time in our economy. In effect, democratising the impact of this industry data set.

 

How will the new levy be billed?

  • As is currently the case with MASBOF levy, it will be billed either directly or through intermediaries, to the organisation paying the postage charges to Royal Mail. It will be marked on all Royal Mail invoices for transparency.

 

Will Subscribers pay less under the levy?

  • The levy represents the most equitable, sustainable and cost-efficient funding model for the industry and means that data access for JICMAIL core data carries no subscription costs. Advertisers can access the data directly and/or nominate their intermediaries and agencies to access the data on their behalf subject to their accreditation from JICMAIL The level of the levy (at £3 per £1000 of RM postage expenditure) and the use of the cap for any levy payer (set at a maximum of £5,000 for 2021) together ensures that the levy represents  the most cost-effective funding model for all and makes it accessible to many across the industry for the very first time.

 

What will the levy be on average?

  • The levy is capped at £5,000 for 2021 so that for average mail spenders spending, £400,000 on advertising mail or door drops, they would contribute around £1,200 per year and the most typical smaller mail users spending at for example, £50,000 per year on the relevant on mail product, would contribute £150 per year. The levy at 0.3%, equates to a fractional per item contribution of £3 per £1000 of advertising mail postage expenditure

 

Can I opt out of the levy?

  • The payment of the levy is voluntary, and the industry will rely upon a shared commitment to making the levy payment, but if any customer mailer wishes to be refunded the levy they have paid, then they will need to make a claim directly to JICMAIL providing the reasons they do not wish to support this industry initiative and verify the refund required.
  • Refund payments will be made after JICMAIL has received the applicable levy payment(s) from Royal Mail or other collecting agents and the refund amounts have been verified.

 

How will agencies and intermediaries access JICMAIL data?

  • All subscriber need to be registered and be accredited annually to maintain access. 
  • Agencies and intermediaries will be required within their accreditation process to attain a competency level in using JICMAIL data on behalf of their clients and become an approved user on their behalf. 
  • Advertisers can nominate their own agencies for data access on their behalf, subject to their accreditation.
  • The accreditation process will be supported with training modules provided by JICMAIL and will be subject to annual review.
  • All existing subscribers will be granted temporary accreditation across 2021 but will be subject to confirmation before the year end.
  • JICMAIL will publish a list of accredited agency and intermediary users on its website alongside all registered organisations.

 

How do I access the data?

  • JICMAIL data is accessed through JICMAIL Discovery on our website, through channel planning software and/or via excel and other data tables. JICMAIL Discovery is an online data visualisation tool that provides customisable charts detailing Mail Type, Sector or Content and Customer Demographic. JICMAIL data is also available through the industry software planning systems, Telmar, Nielsen IMS and Kantar Choices and available in excel or other data spreadsheets.
  • All access to the data is subject to the signing of a data user agreement.

 

What support do I get from JICMAIL in using the data?

  • The JICMAIL team support all subscribers with training, certification, and where appropriate, additional data insight for specific projects. Online training resources are also available, along with pre-recorded webinars and in-depth analysis presentations on sector use of JICMAIL.

 

The JICMAIL Levy Opt-out and Cap Process for Levy Payers

Posted Policy 08/04/2021

The new JICMAIL Levy is now live for Royal Mail Door-to-Door customers and for Royal Mail, Retail and Wholesale advertising mail customers.

This is an important moment for the mail industry, as JICMAIL opens up data access across all participants through the new funding model of the JICMAIL Levy. The levy is set at 0.3% of applicable Royal Mail advertising mail products (equating to a fractional per item charge of £3 per £1000 of advertising mail postage expenditure) and for 2021, is capped at £5,000 for any levy payer. It is voluntary and for the typical advertiser spending c£50,000 on advertising mail, the levy will amount to a contribution of just £150 for access to a very significant industry research capability and resource.

With the voluntary levy in place, the data access will be free to use for all companies in the UK including SMEs. This will democratise the availability of JICMAIL data benefiting every user of advertising mail, giving them access to the core industry data and insight for better business decisions.

For all users JICMAIL offers multiple benefits, equipping them with the essential standards of audience and item data insight to take into their own measurement and performance frameworks and support their needs for optimising the efficiency and effectiveness of their mail campaigns.

As a mail spender, it enables you to:

  • understand what happens to mail in the homes of your customers and prospects providing detailed competitor insight
  • understand how to improve the results generated from your investment in mail
  • fit this core data standard for mail into your data systems supported by with tools for easy access

These benefits help all mail users (large and small) to better plan and deliver more effective campaigns with the levy offering the fairest, equitable and transparent means to democratise the data during this extraordinary era we are in.

We at JICMAIL will support you in realising these benefits and as soon as a data agreement is in place, the next step is to complete a simple Adoption Plan which sets out your training needs so we can provide support to you and your teams to get the most out of JICMAIL across 2021.

 

Cap and Opt-out process – key points

The levy will be applied to every item of applicable mail product and invoiced by Royal Mail to its contract holders. This incorporates the mailing items within Royal Mail Access Services defined as Advertising Mail, Responsible Mail, and Partially Addressed Mail.

Royal Mail is acting as a collecting agent for the JICMAIL Levy on behalf of JICMAIL on all direct mail Mailing Items presented as Advertising Mail under the terms of the Royal Mail Access Contract.

The new levy will be billed either directly or through intermediaries, to the organisation paying the postage charges for advertising mail to Royal Mail. It will be marked on all Royal Mail invoices for transparency and collaboration across the supply chain may be required to confirm the levy amounts paid for the Originating Customer and Customer Legal Entity.

Over time, there will be other collecting agents across the mail sector who will collect the levy on behalf of JICMAIL for non-Royal mail contracts.

 

The Opt-Out Process

Payment of the levy is voluntary, and so if any Originating Customer and Customer Legal Entity wishes to be refunded the levy they have paid, then this process for handling the mail levy opt-out has been put in place.

Due to the fragmented nature of the supply chain and the necessity to obtain customer data across a number of mail participants and intermediaries (for each collecting agent), this process has been simplified for the first year of operation.

The opt-out is operated on a retrospective, calendar year basis and is only effective for the calendar year for which the claim is being made.

A claim must be made within three months of the end of the calendar year of opt-out and JICMAIL will endeavour to ensure that any refund is made within three months of the date of the claim.

However, it should be noted that JICMAIL is reliant upon the Collection Agents to provide information on a timely basis.

If an Originating Customer and Customer Legal Entity wants a refund of the JICMAIL Levy they must submit a written claim to JICMAIL, to be sent to The Treasurer, JICMAIL Limited, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W.

The claim must be in writing using the JICMAIL standard Opt-Out Claim Form (the “Opt-Out Claim Form”). This must be signed by a Board director or a senior responsible officer (SRO) and, include the reasons they do not wish to support this industry initiative.

In making a valid claim the Originating Customer and Customer Legal Entity must send JICMAIL the claim form together with

  1. a) an authorisation letter (“Authorisation Letter”) instructing the Collection Agent to provide the applicable mail billing data to JICMAIL or where available
  2. b) a schedule for the applicable mail billing data for each Collection Agent showing the invoice number, invoice dates and JICMAIL levy amounts that are to be refunded, including the relevant mailing account numbers with their collecting agents.

JICMAIL shall promptly send the Collection Agent the Authorisation Letter and Claim Form.

Subject to obtaining the information on a timely basis from the collecting agent JICMAIL shall process and pay refunds within three months of the receipt of a valid claim. 

The standard JICMAIL Levy Opt-Out Claim Form and Mailing Agent Authorisation Letter is available for download at the foot of this page. 

 

The Cap Refund Process

As with the Opt-Out process, this process has been simplified for the first year of operation.

For the calendar year 2021 the Cap is set at £5,000 for any Originating Customer and Legal Customer Entity.

The Cap is also operated on a retrospective, calendar year basis. 

A Cap refund claim must be made within three months of the end of the calendar year using the JICMAIL standard Cap Refund Claim Form (the “Cap Refund Claim Form”). The standard JICMAIL Cap Refund Claim Form will be put on the JICMAIL website and completed in full and signed by a Board director or a senior responsible officer (SRO).

Attached to the Cap Refund Claim Form, we require the standard JICMAIL authorisation letter (“Authorisation Letter”) giving the individual Collection Agent permission to provide specific billing information to JICMAIL for the purposes of the claim.

JICMAIL will endeavour to ensure that any refund is made within three months of the date of the claim: but it should be understood that JICMAIL is reliant on the Collection Agents to provide information on a timely basis.

Levy payers will be able to make a Cap Refund Claim at any time after the £5,000 limit has been exceeded.

On an ongoing basis and within the constraints of the supply chain, JICMAIL will work with the Collecting Agents to minimise any significant overcollection, and after the year end, will compile the Cap refund claims and send the instructions to the specified Collection Agents together with the customer instruction letters.   

Subject to the terms of the process agreed with Collection Agents, JICMAIL we will advise the Originating Customers of the total amount of Mail Levy charged listed by Collection Agent and from this total amount the sum of £5,000 will be deducted.

The net amount will be shown as the cap refund payable to the Originating Customer and Customer Legal Entity.

The JICMAIL Levy is outside the scope of VAT and so no VAT will be included in any refund.

If the Originating Customer and Customer Legal Entity accepts this amount – they will sign the form and send back to JICMAIL.

If the Originating Customer and Customer Legal Entity does not accept the Refund statement, queries the numbers or requires more details – they will be encouraged to revert to the Collection Agent directly.

The standard JICMAIL Levy Cap Refund Claim Form and Mailing Agent Authorisation Letter is available for download at the foot of this page. 

 

Industry Best Practice

JICMAIL supports the inclusion of the levy within the prevailing industry best practice standards such as those set out in the ISBA guidance for the template framework for media strategy, planning and buying services of 2018.

As such we encourage all users to;

  • Specify the specific levy cost on all plans/proposals and detail as a VAT exempt item on invoices. This is desirable across the supply chain irrespective of who is acting as a collecting agent on behalf of JICMAIL.
  • We recognise that there will need to be some time to adjust existing delivery systems across the supply chain for this to happen, but JICMAIL will encourage all best efforts.
  • We also recommend that access customers, intermediaries, and agencies in making the JICMAIL levy explicit on all plans and proposals, monitor levy contributions for their Originating Customers as appropriate.  

 

JICMAIL Levy Cap Refund Claim Form_FINAL

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JICMAIL Levy Opt-Out Refund Claim Form_FINAL

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JICMAIL Mailing Agent Authorisation Letter_FINAL

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