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AP and 40 leading newspapers launch mobile advertising circulars with 20 major retailers


Newspaper industry unites to provide mobile shopping service for smartphone users

NEW YORK -- In a pioneering collaboration between newspaper publishers and retailers, The Associated Press and 40 leading newspapers today announced the creation of an industrywide service to provide new mobile advertising products that enhance newspapers’ advertising circulars with location-specific offers and interactive, engaging tools.

The new mobile offering, known as iCircular, will debut in a pilot phase being launched today that will be rolled out within the mobile sites and apps of the 40 newspapers, located across all regions of the country. They include the New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other representatives of nearly every major newspaper company. For a full list of newspapers participating in the launch of iCircular, visit The mobile advertising service will appear under a “Deals” section on each of these newspapers’ apps and mobile sites.

Weekly sale ads will appear initially for 20 nationwide retailers, including jcpenney, Kohl’s Department Stores, Kmart , Macy’s, Staples, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walgreens and Walmart, as well as regional and local retailers, including supermarkets and electronics stores. For a full list of retailers participating in the launch of iCircular, visit

For retailers, the service focuses on attracting customers to local stores by automatically delivering geo-located deals and special offers nearest to the consumer. For smartphone users, the service also provides tools to create shopping lists, to connect to social media and to store loyalty card information.

ICircular is the latest example of AP putting its innovation to work on behalf of its members as together they meet the challenges facing all media companies in this economic climate.
“The Associated Press initiated this project to unite the industry in extending the power and popularity of preprinted circulars to mobile users,” said Mary Junck, chairman and CEO of Lee Enterprises and chairman of AP’s revenue committee. “Interest has been amazing. Many of the country’s most important retailers and newspapers have joined in the pilot phase, which will reach more than 5 million mobile users. As the project proceeds, we expect many more newspapers and advertisers to join.”

“Circulars remain so popular with both advertisers and consumers and this is the next logical step to bring the popular advertisements to consumers in a trusted mobile environment with added features,” said Mike Reed, chairman of the Newspaper Association of America. “Nearly 60 percent of adults use the paper inserts to plan their shopping and retailers rely on circulars as the one of the most successful methods of driving traffic to their stores. The iCircular service, is a part of wider digital shopping efforts by our industry, and will only grow the dependence on and success of newspapers circulars.”

"Circulars continue to be a highly effective tool for communicating with our customers, but as media consumption habits evolve, we must also adapt the way we advertise our products and services. Giving consumers the ability to access great, local deals on their mobile device is indicative of Sears and Kmart’s dedication to digital innovation and making our customers’ lives easier,” said Pat Dermody, VP, Marketing Services at Sears Holdings.

Circulars that are inserted into newspapers continue to reach about 80 million customers a week. This new mobile version broadens this already successful business by helping retailers reach the nearly half of all Americans that already get their local news on a mobile device — and provide a meaningful tool for shoppers.

The AP and its retail and publisher partners will be leveraging comScore’s Web analytics platform, Digital Analytix, for all performance metrics pertaining to iCircular. Digital Analytix will provide user, engagement, and conversion insights for the application to ensure the efficacy of iCircular for consumers and partners.

The iCircular team selected Vectorform, a global design and technology firm, to build the HTML5 version of the service and teamed up with Five Mobile, based in Canada, to develop the iOS version. Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH), based in Teaneck, N.J., architected and built the backend and provided integration services for the iCircular application.

About The AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP.


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