Coup On: AOL, Valassis Combine Digital Couponing Networks

Old school couponing and consumer promotion giant Valassis this morning announced a deal with AOL that the companies claim will create one of the largest paperless digital couponing networks in the U.S. With a footprint encompassing more than 7,500 retailer grocery stores, the alliance will combine both companies' online and mobile networks to distribute coupons digitally to consumers, bypassing traditional analogue media such as newspaper inserts and mail.

The alliance will promote the digital coupon offers on AOL's Shortcuts.com, on Valassis' owned and affiliated Web sites in its RedPlum Digital Network, and on AOL's network of Web and mobile sites.

The companies estimated that the combined reach of the digital couponing networks would cover 127 million frequent shopper cardholders weekly.

The coupons will be delivered via electronic downloads to participating retailer frequent shopper cards and loyalty programs.

Valassis said that research it conducted with BIGresearch found that 80% of shoppers subscribe to grocery or drugstore chain frequent shopper programs. The study also found that two-thirds of those respondents said they were interested in saving coupons from the Internet directly to their frequent shopper cards/IDs.

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