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Valassis Coupon Inserts and Stop & Shop Circular to be Delivered Via Common Shared Mail Package

Press release from the issuing company

LIVONIA, Mich., Oct. 16  -- Valassis Sunday free-standing inserts (FSI) and Stop & Shop circulars will be delivered via the shared mail package in select markets beginning in January 2008 to better cover Stop & Shop stores, it was announced by Stop & Shop, a division of Ahold, and Valassis, the nation's leading marketing services company. This joint initiative represents a significant innovation on several fronts for both the grocery and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries.
Stop & Shop began distributing the circular via the shared mail package in August 2006.
Declining newspaper circulation over the last several years has made it necessary for retailers, CPG manufacturers and marketing services suppliers to look for new ways to continue to reach consumers and drive retail store traffic.
"We are delighted to be working with Valassis on this important initiative," said Amy Murphy, Manager of Partner Strategy at Stop & Shop. "Reaching our customers is critical to our business and the shared mail model aligns our CPG partners' promotional content with the Stop & Shop circular in a way that was not possible in the past."
"With this move, Valassis will continue to address a long-term industry concern, namely, how to offset year-over-year circulation declines of 3 percent or more for Sunday newspapers," said Tom Murray, Vice President and General Manager of Valassis' FSI business. "This move helps retailers and manufacturers in three ways: first, it ensures our ability to reach millions of consumers in an efficient and effective manner. No longer will we have to rely only on total market coverage (TMC) programs and non-subscriber newspapers to provide necessary coverage levels. Our data from NCH Marketing Services, a Valassis subsidiary, shows that these TMC programs redeem at a lesser rate than traditional FSIs. Second, the power of combining our CPG promotional content with the Stop & Shop circular should facilitate even better alignment between our CPG customers and our retail partners. Finally, improved market coverage will reach consumers who have never been reached by traditional FSIs in the weekend newspaper and will reconnect with those consumers who have stopped getting the weekend newspaper."
Valassis will also be augmenting weekend newspaper coverage in many markets with shared mail distribution in order to bring current market coverage levels up to historical levels. Ultimately, Murray said, "While the weekend newspaper has been and will continue to be critical to our business, no one vehicle can effectively reach all consumers. Over time, you will see Valassis utilize an integrated media platform of weekend newspapers, shared mail and the Internet to build and maintain our audience."
Valassis acquired ADVO, the nation's leading direct mail marketer, in March of 2007 and is focused on delivering value to consumers how, when and where they want. Valassis maintains relationships with 13,000 newspapers nationwide, and with the addition of ADVO, has the ability to reach 90% of U.S. households via shared mail.
"We applaud this innovative use of direct mail as a means of getting Unilever brands closer to our consumers and to better align our promotional efforts with our key retail customers," said Lisa Klauser, Vice President of Brand Building and Marketing Excellence at Unilever.