ADVO Invests in Inserts for Internet Companies

Direct mail powerhouse ADVO (AD) this week took a stake in Netserts.com, an advertising magazine aimed at driving traffic to Web sites, in an effort to further capitalize on the rush of dot-com dollars to offline marketing.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Netserts.com takes ads from e-commerce players, places them in a magazine, and distributes the publication to more than ten million households a month, billing it as a guide for online shoppers.

“We are pleased to announce this exciting new venture. As e-commerce continues to grow and evolve at a dramatic pace, on-line businesses are increasingly challenged to attract traffic and transactions to support their business models,” said Gary Mulloy, ADVO’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“Our investment in Netserts.com will further strengthen our core capabilities in these areas, and provide us with a vehicle exclusively dedicated to dot-com advertisers.”

The ADVO investment will give Netserts.com a boost in several ways. First, it is expected to increase the company’s reach and frequency, since ADVO has agreed to bundle the Netserts.com magazine with its direct mail advertising packages, which reach 60 million households a week. ADVO has also committed to helping develop Netserts.com’s Web site, which is currently rather weak, to align it with the offline effort. In addition, Netserts.com will have access to ADVO’s prodigious sales infrastructure.

In a separate development, ADVO’s SuperCoups subsidiary has extended its pact with CoolSavings.com for a three-year period. The partnership allows SuperCoup merchants to reach consumers through coupons and offers on the CoolSavings.com Web site.

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