4-5 Advertisements With Parcels or Periodicals (39 CFR 320.7)

The operation of 39 U.S.C. 601(a)(1) through (6) and 39 CFR 310.2(b)(1) through (6) is suspended on all post routes for any advertisement enclosed with merchandise in parcels or accompanying periodicals under the following circumstances:

  1. The advertisement must not be marked with the name or address of the intended recipient.
  2. The advertisement must be incidental to the shipment of the accompanying merchandise or the periodical as follows:
    1. An advertisement is incidental to the shipment of the accompanying merchandise or the periodical when the merchandise or the periodical has been ordered by or would otherwise be sent to the recipient even without the accompanying advertisement.
    2. Notwithstanding 39 CFR 320.7(a)(2)(i), an advertisement is not incidental to the merchandise when the pertinent circumstances, such as the nominal value of the merchandise, its shipment on an unsolicited basis, or its status as a sample, reasonably indicate that the shipper’s primary purpose is the conveyance of the advertisement itself and that the merchandise is merely an adjunct to the advertisement.

An item is an advertisement if its primary purpose is to cause or induce the purchase of goods or services from the shipper or others.


  • Bean’s End includes catalogs of all its merchandise lines with the privately carried parcels that contain merchandise ordered by its customers. The catalogs do not relate in all substantial respects to some part of the cargo or the ordering, shipping, or delivering of the cargo, so they do not qualify for the cargo exception listed in subchapter 3-3. However, they do qualify for this suspension because they are incidental to merchandise ordered by the customer.
  • The Fox Valley Computer Company sends out computers by a private carrier along with advertisements for computer software and printers. Such advertisements meet this suspension because they are incidental to the shipment and the shipper hopes to generate more business from its customers.