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Direct Response Marketing

FSI Couponing Reaches Record Levels

20 Jan, 2010 By: Jacqueline Renfrow

NEW YORK – Free-standing insert (FSI) coupon activity increased 8 percent in 2009 to reach more than 272 million pieces dropped, according to Marx Promotion Intelligence, a division of TNS Media Intelligence. The 2009 rate was the highest amount of yearly coupons dropped in the past decade, surpassing the second highest year, 2007, which dropped 252 billion.

Retailer promoter pages also reached new record highs with a 37.7-percent increase to more than 9 billion pages in 2009.

“Although ‘shopper marketing’ tactics are still evolving, FSIs have clearly emerged as a key component of manufacturer and retailer aligned promotion programs … manufacturers are using corporate scale FSI coupon events … to break through the promotion clutter,” says Mark Nesbitt, president of TNS Media Intelligence.

Also in 2009, more than $385 billion in consumer incentives were delivered via FSI coupons, up 15 percent from 2008. However, the average expiration remained below 10 weeks with a decrease to 9.3 weeks, down 3.9 percent from 2008. Manufacturers are delivering more offers of greater value to the consumer, but are managing their financial exposure by reducing the length of time that these offers are available in the market.

The consumer package goods (CPG) vertical remained the largest user of FSI pages with 71.5-percent share, followed in second place by direct response, which includes general advertising and franchise comprised of restaurants, portrait studios and other businesses.

Retailer promotion pages increased 37.7 percent to more than 9 billion pages in 2009, led by Target, with more than 1.8 billion pages (up 43.9 percent from 2008).

Non-food categories distributed more than 160.9 billion coupons, up 5.3 percent from 2008 and food delivered 111.6 billion coupons, a 12.4-percent increase. The average value for a non-food coupon increased 7.4 to $1.73

About the Author: Jacqueline Renfrow

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