01 August 1998

INSTANT COUPON MACHINES are being installed at 150 J Sainsbury supermarkets across the UK in a deal negotiated by Aspen Group’s specialist media unit. Three major fmcg brands - KP Frisps, McVitie’s Go Ahead ice cream and Van den Bergh Foods Cup-a-Soup - have signed-up for the scheme’s first four-week cycle, while Cereal Partners and Douwe Egberts are to join the following cycle. Each brand pays £40 per store per week, for which it receives category exclusivity. Participating outlets will install a maximum of twenty machines, located at eye-level next to the products in question. Up to five machines may dispense coupons for Sainsbury’s own brands and all coupons issued are immediately redeemable at the checkout. The concept, already popular in the US, is designed to attract shoppers who can’t be bothered to clip coupons, plus those who object to giving personal data. Sainsbury claims to be the first UK supermarket to install the machines, which are franchised to Aspen by Murdoch-owned News America Marketing. [Sainsbury may be the first to adopt this particular technology but Debrief recalls, as will many readers, a near identical concept trialled a couple of years back by Catalina Electronic Marketing.]