*Val-Pak Delivers Coupons at the Pump

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Cooperative direct marketer Val-Pak has found a new venue for its digital coupons normally located at its Web site, Valpak.com: Internet-enabled gas pumps.


The company announced yesterday that it has begun testing coupon delivery at gas stations in Atlanta. Val-Pak, a division of Cox Target Media, is accomplishing this via the Ten Square Digital Network.


Ten Square is a telecommunications and media service provider that broadcasts interactive content to places where consumers typically have to wait for a transaction to be completed such as service stations, ATMs and kiosks.


Val-Pak, which mails 15 billion coupons annually to 50 million households, offers more than 30,000 coupons for local businesses at Valpak.com.


The plan is to make this digital inventory of offers available in major cities across the United States beginning next year. The initial Atlanta test includes 200 coupons.


When asked whether attempting to hit consumers with coupons virtually everywhere they go will overload consumers, Todd Leiser, vice president of Internet technology at Cox Target Media, said, "This an opportunity for consumers to save money. From that standpoint, there is value. The goal is to make the coupons available wherever they are. [If this is too much for consumers], ultimately they will decide."


He cited an example: A consumer is filling up at a gas station and he has his dry cleaning in the car. If the pump presents him with a coupon for a discount at a dry cleaner across the street, he would probably be happy to take them up on that offer.


Ten Square's new digital network is made up of strategic alliances. For this, one of its first ventures, it contacted Val-Pak, Largo, FL.


Val-Pak, which had been looking to diversify its offerings since it moved online in October 1998, jumped at the opportunity.


"The Web is where we are now besides our 'Blue Envelope,' " he said. "We'd also been looking at various other forms, from wireless to kiosks."


Cox Target Media is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., Atlanta.
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