AOL, Valassis partner on digital coupon channel

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AOL and media and marketing services company Valassis have partnered to create a digital coupon service that will enable more than 7,500 grocery stores to distribute deals through the two companies' online and mobile networks.

The partnership will give marketers a distribution channel capable of reaching 127 million US consumers, the companies said January 25.

The companies will deliver the coupons through electronic download to both the frequent shopper cards and loyalty program IDs of various grocery chains. Consumers will be able to browse, select and save preferred coupons at specific participating retailers.

“This partnership is all about distribution and finding eyeballs to reach a mass audience,” said John Lieblang, president of Livonia, MI-based Valassis Digital Media. “If we add up our networks, it allows us to touch 127 million active, frequent shoppers…and in turn it saves time for the consumer.”

He added that the partnership will also save consumers money and support the green movement by making more coupons paperless.

Lieblang also stressed the program's data-collection benefits.

“The electronic transactions give you a lot of information on redemptions that you normally wouldn't get,” he said. “As you collect data, you learn more about consumer preferences and products. You can begin to get to more targeted displays for consumers. But we also are very careful to seek permission from all our clients before we use any specific customer data.”  

AOL could not be reached immediately for comment.

Yahoo, meanwhile, announced a partnership with Groupon and several other deal brokers in November.

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