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RedPlum Expands Reach of its Free-standing Insert Through Shared Mail Delivery
--More Consumers Receive Coupons for Free in Select Markets
LIVONIA, Mich., March 6, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Valassis (NYSE: VCI), one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies, announced today that more consumers now have access to its RedPlum free-standing insert (FSI) through a distribution shift in select markets via consumers' mailboxes for free in the RedPlum Shared Mail Package along with their grocery and retail circulars. Consumers in a number of markets who already receive the RedPlum mail package in these areas will now find the coupon booklet inside.

With the increased interest in coupons, deals and savings, consumers are changing their spending habits - in some cases, permanently. In part, they are using more coupons, using retail fliers to make shopping lists, and comparison shopping online. By delivering the RedPlum FSI through the mailbox, Valassis is aligning the value of its consumer packaged goods manufacturer coupons with retail circulars, optimizing coverage of a market, and overall, delivering more coupons for free in a market than was previously delivered with newspaper alone. Consumers also have access to free coupons through the company's savings and lifestyle site, http://www.redplum.com.

"We are laying the foundation for what we believe will be a new business model in the FSI industry," said Alan F. Schultz, Valassis Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). "We are working toward differentiating our FSI with Shared Mail distribution as we believe it offers a viable alternative to declining newspaper circulations. Through the mail, the RedPlum insert will now be able to reach significantly more households in each of the markets where the shift has occurred. In these challenging economic times, it has never been more important to make these essential savings available to as many people as possible so they can stretch the dollars in their wallets."

The determination of how and where to distribute promotional items such as coupons is made on a market-by-market basis, based largely on the objectives of Valassis' clients. They desire the ability to reach as many consumers as possible with their offers, and want to avoid duplication.

"Fueled by the downturn in the economy, there is a heightened consumer interest in saving money with coupons," said Bonnie Carlson, President of the Promotion Marketing Association. "Increased coupon usage leading to higher redemption rates is a win for both shoppers and advertisers. We are supportive of getting more coupons in the marketplace whether it be in the newspaper, the mail, in-store or online. It's all about reaching more people and delivering greater savings."

Valassis evaluates the distribution of its coupon booklet two times per year to ensure the optimization of market coverage for its clients and to reach more consumers. Recent media reports and coupon enthusiast Web sites have erroneously reported that Valassis is pulling its RedPlum coupon booklet from all newspapers across the United States, when in fact newspapers still represent 90% of its FSI distribution.

Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert urges consumers to never pay for coupons or a membership. "The leading brands use Valassis' RedPlum to distribute their coupons in a targeted and safe way to shoppers, and I use RedPlum to save money every time I shop - and so should every shopper," Lempert said.

RedPlum helps consumers score more deals than ever. It provides an opportunity for consumers to save up to $1,000 a year or more by spending just 20 minutes a week taking advantage of coupons and special offers. On redplum.com, consumers can quickly find free coupons, offers and tips - ranging from grocery to kids, home to healthy living, and dining to entertainment - in their local area.

About Valassis

Valassis is one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies, offering unparalleled reach and scale to more than 15,000 advertisers. Its RedPlum media portfolio delivers value on a weekly basis to over 100 million shoppers across a multi-media platform - in-home, in-store and in-motion. Through our interactive offering - redplum.com - consumers will find compelling national and local deals online. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan with approximately 7,000 associates in 28 states and eight countries, Valassis is widely recognized for its associate and corporate citizenship programs, including its America's Looking for Its Missing Children(R) program. Valassis companies include Valassis Direct Mail, Inc., Valassis Canada, Promotion Watch, Valassis Relationship Marketing Systems, LLC and NCH Marketing Services, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.valassis.com or http://www.redplum.com.

Safe Harbor and Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements found in this document constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the following: price competition from our existing competitors; new competitors in any of our businesses; a shift in client preference for different promotional materials, strategies or coupon delivery methods, including, without limitation, as a result of declines in newspaper circulation; an unforeseen increase in paper or postal costs; changes which affect the businesses of our clients and lead to reduced sales promotion spending, including, without limitation, a decrease of marketing budgets which are generally discretionary in nature and easier to reduce in the short-term than other expenses; our substantial indebtedness, and ability to refinance such indebtedness, if necessary, and our ability to incur additional indebtedness, may affect our financial health; the financial condition, including bankruptcies, of our clients, suppliers, senior secured credit facility lenders or other counterparties; our ability to comply with or obtain modifications or waivers of the financial covenants contained in our debt documents; certain covenants in our debt documents could adversely restrict our financial and operating flexibility; recent disruptions in the credit markets that make it difficult for companies to secure financing; we currently do not comply with the continued listing requirements of The New York Stock Exchange and therefore our common stock may be delisted; fluctuations in the amount, timing, pages, weight and kinds of advertising pieces from period to period, due to a change in our clients' promotional needs, inventories and other factors; our failure to attract and retain qualified personnel may affect our business and results of operations; a rise in interest rates could increase our borrowing costs; we may be required to recognize additional impairment charges against goodwill and intangible assets in the future; the outcome of ADVO's pending shareholder lawsuits; our current litigation with News America Incorporated may be costly and divert management's attention; possible governmental regulation or litigation affecting aspects of our business; the credit and liquidity crisis in the financial markets could continue to affect our results of operations and financial condition; counterparties to our secured credit facility and interest rate swaps may not be able to fulfill their obligations due to disruptions in the global credit markets; and general economic conditions, whether nationally, internationally, or in the market areas in which we conduct our business, including the adverse impact of the ongoing economic downturn on the marketing expenditures and activities of our clients and prospective clients as well as our vendors, with whom we rely on to provide us with quality materials at the right prices and in a timely manner. These and other risks and uncertainties related to our business are described in greater detail in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including our reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q and the foregoing information should be read in conjunction with these filings. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Valassis


http://www.redplum.com