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Valassis and AOL to deliver more coupon offers via frequent shopper programs

Press release from the issuing company

Livonia, Mich. - Valassis, one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies,announced today that they have formed a strategic relationship with AOL Inc., a leading global web services company, creating one of the largest paperless digital coupon footprints in the United States, including over 7,500 grocery retail stores. This agreement also enables the sharing of digital coupon offer content across each other's online and mobile networks. Offers will be live on AOL's Shortcuts.com, on Valassis' web properties and across the participating retailer websites in the RedPlum Digital Network and AOL's network of web and mobile sites.

This joint effort between two industry leaders provides advertisers with a vast distribution channel, capable of reaching 127 million frequent shopper cardholders across the country on a weekly basis. The coupons will be delivered via electronic downloads to participating retailer frequent shopper cards and loyalty program IDs. According to research conducted by Valassis and BIGresearch, 80% of shoppers subscribe to grocery/drug frequent shopper programs and two out of three of these consumers have expressed an interest in saving coupons from the Internet directly to their frequent shopper cards/IDs.

Shoppers browse, select and save their preferred coupons in real time with ease and convenience. They download offers to their loyalty card or ID from participating retailer websites, AOL's Shortcuts.com, Valassis' web properties or a mobile device. The coupons are ready for redemption as soon as they are downloaded. At the checkout, eligible savings are automatically subtracted from the total cost.

Valassis' DigitalOfferExpert is the proprietary engine that manages coupon distribution across the RedPlum Network, pairing deals with today's tech-savvy and on-the-go shopper. The Shortcuts Digital Couponing System manages content and coupon distribution across the AOL Network.

"Our goal is to provide our advertisers with a digital reach for their brand promotions like no other while providing consumers with valued content no matter where or how they seek savings," saidJohn Lieblang, President of Valassis Digital Media. "Valassis and AOL are enhancing both the advertiser and consumer shopping and saving experience by leveraging the strength of our combined network reach and breadth of our digital offerings."

"We are excited to be partnering with Valassis in our efforts to continue to lead and grow the paperless digital and mobile couponing market," said Tara Trocki, GM of AOL's Shortcuts.com. "This new, high growth channel provides simplified savings that appeal to a broad base of consumers which in turn delivers tremendous value to our consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail partners."

More and more consumers today are investing time and seeking out money-saving deals from multiple sources including coupon, retailer and brand websites, the mail, the newspaper and in store. This program offers shoppers a robust selection of coupons they can readily download to their loyalty card or frequent shopper ID. Valassis offers advertisers the ability to deliver a blended solution incorporating print and digital offerings in a campaign to reach shoppers how, when and where they want. AOL's Shortcuts provides extensive consumer reach in distribution of digital coupon offers as well proprietary advances in technology which enable CPG partners to gain online and offline consumer behavioral insights and leverage targeting mechanisms not available through other channels.

Proprietary research conducted by Valassis and BIGresearch indicates:

- 44.2% of U.S. adults are seeking coupons online at least once a week;

- 57% of consumers print one to five coupons from the Internet weekly - 26% print more than six weekly; and

- To date, 20% of consumers have reported downloading coupons to their loyalty cards/IDs; 80% have then used the downloaded coupons to get savings at their local stores.


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