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Average FSI Face Value Up 8.6 Percent for First Half of '06

NEW YORK -- During the first six months of 2006, Free Standing Insert (FSI) average face value rose 8.6 percent to $1.18 vs. the same period last year, the largest average face value for a half-year period on record, according to "The Marx FSI Trend Report," issued yesterday by Marx Promotion Intelligence, a division of TNS Media Intelligence here.

This trend is mainly due to the expanded use of FSI coupons for high-value products that are increasingly being added to the grocery channel, the report said. Face values for high-value products averaged $4.07 during the first half of 2006, an increase of 20 percent over last year.

"Marketers continue to leverage FSIs to provide impression value and reach while delivering consumer incentive and brand messaging," said Marx Promotion Intelligence/TNS Media Intelligence c.o.o. Mark Nesbitt. "However, it is evident that high-value consumer promotions have emerged as an effective tactic as innovative new products are introduced and traditional retail channels continue to blur."

The top 10 coupon product types accounted for 32.1 percent of all coupons distributed. Although the top category was household cleaning products, followed by pet food and treats and combination/personal care, the biggest percent change was experienced by No. 4 on the list, rug and room deodorizers, because of the increasingly competitive air treatments segment. Rounding out the top 10 were snacks, vitamins, cereals, hair care, meat/refrigerated, and cough, cold, sinus, and allergy.

In the first half of 2006, average face values of coupons rose 10.9 percent across all nonfood segments, as compared to the year-ago period. The household products segment led this trend with a 22.0 percent increase to $1.11, driven by greater activity in support of high-value products. Coupons dropped for nonfood items declined 2.7 percent vs. the record levels reached in the first half of 2005. Personal care and household products segments experienced slight increases in coupon distribution of 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, while the health care segment went down 7.9 percent.

Average face values of coupons among food categories increased 2.2 percent to $0.82, led by refrigerated foods, which rose 8.2 percent increase to 74 cents. Meanwhile cereals decreased 7.1 percent to $0.83.

Coupons dropped for food items went down 6.5 percent, as opposed to the record levels seen in 2005, although refrigerated foods experienced a 3.9 percent rise in coupon circulation.

During the first half of 2006, over 130 billion coupons were delivered via FSIs in Sunday newspapers, down 4.2 percent from the same period last year, which was the most active six-month period on record for FSI activity. This decrease in coupons corresponds with a 2.2 percent decrease in total pages. After rising slightly in 2005, the average offer duration returned to its historical trend toward shorter promotion periods, with a 3.3 percent decrease to 10.3 weeks. According to the report, these trends show that manufacturers are continuing to leverage FSIs, but are increasingly using them to deliver high-value offers that encourage brand trial and spur category excitement.

Marx Promotion Intelligence, the industry standard for tracking FSI coupon activity, provides companies with Web-based strategic insights and state-of-the-art tactical tools.
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