Green Bay Press Gazette coupon inserts: The inside scoop Part 1

June 4, 2011 by
Filed under: Coupons, News 

I know a lot of readers (and myself) have expressed frustration with the Green Bay Press Gazette’s Sunday edition and how the inclusion of coupon inserts seem to be hit-or-miss if you buy it from the newsstand.  Instead of just theorizing what was going on, I decided to get some answers for you.

Friday morning I talked with Dave Sielski, the Circulation Manager of the Green Bay Press-Gazette about coupon inserts and how they are distributed in the newspaper.   I have so much information to give you that this is the first of two posts.

First off, if you are new to the coupon world, you need to know that there are a few major coupon insert advertisers out there: Smart Source and Red Plum (or Vlassis) are the major ones; there are also a few like Unilever, General Mills, Target, and Procter & Gamble who have their own inserts on occasion.

Distribution of coupon inserts is set by the advertisers and each advertiser has specific criteria listed in their contract.  Sielski mentioned that inserts are usually given top priority to subscribers with single sales copies getting the remainder.  “We would love it if our advertisers paid for enough inserts to go in every paper we put out, but that’s not the case.”

The Press-Gazette’s Sunday circulation is around 80,000.  If the advertiser (i.e. Smart Source or Red Plum) only wants 50,000 copies of inserts distributed, subscriber newspapers get first priority.  Any remaining inserts go into single sales copies.

When single sales newspapers are bundled at the distribution center, they are not separated into piles as to which ones have the coupon inserts and which ones do not.  “There is no rhyme or reason to it,” said Sielski.   When they’re loaded onto the truck they go wherever. “It’s not like the east side of town gets all the papers with inserts and the west gets none.”  So it is entirely possible for any given store to receive some papers with inserts and some without.

It’s frustrating, very frustrating, I know.  And it is for someone like Sielski, too.  He mentioned that he takes at least 15-20 calls every Monday from people who are buying single-sales copies and are missing the coupon inserts.   He also said the calls are becoming more frequent since TLC’s Extreme Couponing premiered because of the increased interest in couponing.

So what can we do about it?  That and more in part two of my interviews with key staff at the Green Bay Press-Gazette will be coming to you later today.

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