Kantar Media: FSI couponing down; retailer pages up


MINNEAPOLIS — Free Standing Insert coupon activity decreased 1.2% over the first six months of 2012 versus the same time period a year ago, Kantar Media reported Tuesday.

“FSI coupons continue to be an effective advertising vehicle for brand marketers and retailers to reach shoppers in the home where they are writing shopping lists and planning shopping trips,” stated David Hamric, general manager at Marx, a Kantar Media solution. “As FSI coupon redemption rates have increased, manufacturers are reducing their financial exposure by distributing fewer coupons at lower face values and shorter expiration periods. However, FSI coupon vehicles continue to deliver significant advertising impact and retailer merchandising opportunities based on their ability to reach millions of households on a specific day."

Kantar Media also reported that retailer promotion activity continued to grow with an 11.2% increase to 9.3 billion pages in the first half of 2012. Walmart continued to lead in retailer activity followed by Walgreens, which moved to second from a rank of fourth in 2011. Six of the top 10 retailers increased pages circulated during the first half of 2012 versus the same period a year ago.

“Retailers may gain a competitive advantage by participating in retailer FSI promotions to capture a greater share of shopping trips among households that use coupons,” Hamric said. “For consumers, coupons are a proven way to save money on a specific item. For retailers, coupons can increase the overall retail value of each shopping trip by adding more items to the shopping basket and increasing the budget by the value of the coupons."

Overall, more than $227 billion in consumer incentives were delivered via FSI coupons in Sunday newspapers over the first half of 2012, down 4.3% from the same period in 2011. During the same six-month period, more than 148 billion coupons were distributed within more than 111 billion FSI pages. FSI coupon average face value declined by 3.2% to $1.53 for the first half 2012. Average expiration (Fuse) dropped to 7.5 weeks, down 9.2% versus a year ago, which is the fourth consecutive year of declining Fuse lengths during the first half of the year.  

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