Valassis, News America Marketing In Coupon Deal


Coupon kingpins Valassis and News America Marketing say they have struck a cross-publishing agreement, intended to expand the digital couponing efforts of both companies.

Valassis, based in Livonia, Mich., owns, and News America owns -- both leading digital coupon sites. The intention, John Lieblang, president of Valassis Digital Media, tells Marketing Daily, is to make both sites more robust, greatly expanding the number of coupons available to consumers.

RedPlum reaches some 100 million shoppers weekly. News America Marketing distributes FSIs to millions of consumers each month, with more than 1,600 newspapers and 55,000 supermarket, drug, office, mass merchandisers and dollar-store locations across the country, including Kroger, Safeway and Walgreens.

While recession-fever fueled intense growth in 2009, with coupon use gaining 27% in 2009, reports Inmar, another company that tracks coupon use, growth may be leveling off: 2010 redemption rates were on par with 2009, it says. (Coupons for food products, however, did increase 3% in 2010.)



The majority of those continue to be paper coupons, "but digital coupons are emerging fast," Lieblang says, adding that the partnership with News America "is just part of the normal course of business, as we all look for new ways to provide more content for consumers." Valassis research shows that 60% of consumers are seeking coupons online each month.

People are getting more saving-savvy all the time, he says, and digital and mobile coupons are just the latest example. "The events of 2008 and 2009 really had a big impact on consumers -- they changed behaviors, and learned new ones. They're not willing to go back. They have rethought things, and are really focused on saving."

Its research shows that 78.3% of shoppers say they used coupons regularly in 2010 -- up from 77% in 2009, 75.8% in 2008, and 63.6% in 2007.

With very little control over the largest expenses in their life, like housing and transportation, he adds, "the grocery store continues to be a place where there's an opportunity to save money."

He expects mobile couponing to continue its rapid growth as well, especially as data plans become more affordable.

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