Valassis, News America Marketing partner on digital coupon cross-publishing

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Media and marketing services firm Valassis and News America Marketing, a coupon and consumer promotions provider, said February 28 that they have agreed to a cross-publishing deal to expand each company's respective coupon and savings websites.

The combination of News America's SmartSource product portfolio and Valassis' RedPlum.com and Save.com platforms will result in a “significant increase in the number of coupons available to shoppers on both sites,” said John Lieblang, president of Valassis Digital Media. SmartSource is a network of more than 1,600 newspapers and 55,000 US businesses.

“Overall in the whole digital world, given the evolution of media, everyone is finding that partnerships are critical to communicate effectively with consumers,” said Lieblang. “This partnership is about cross-publishing and providing value to consumers.”

Valassis launched a similar partnership with AOL in January, enabling more than 7,500 grocery stores to distribute deals through the two companies' online and mobile networks. The partnership gave participating marketers access to approximately 127 million US consumers, the companies said.

The AOL deal was slightly different in that it created a retail distribution network for downloading digital coupons to loyalty cards. The News America agreement offers print-at-home coupons only.

Although both Valassis and News Corp.-owned News America Marketing can now publish content on their own Web properties, they can only do so across the Redplum.com and SmartSource.com networks, not across the entire Valassis and News America networks.

Valassis declined to disclose the financial terms of the contract agreement. Liebling said the deal is “one of a number of [content aggregation] deals that we'll be announcing over the next several years,” but declined to elaborate further.

News America declined to comment on the deal.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the cross-publishing agreement between Valassis and News America Marketing. The deal involves RedPlum.com and SmartSource.com.

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