Weis Markets incorporates paperless coupons into promotion mix
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Inmar on Wednesday announced Weis Markets has expanded its membership in the Inmar Promotion Network with the activation of a new digital coupon program, which adds paperless coupons to Weis’ marketing portfolio.
According to Inmar, redemption of paperless coupons has doubled in volume every year since 2008. In 2012, Inmar processed more than 20 million paperless coupons.
“Our mission at Weis is to deliver an exceptional shopping experience based on value, quality and service. Our eCoupons program helps us conveniently deliver paperless coupons to our Weis Club members,” stated David Hepfinger, president and CEO of Weis Markets. “This will help us reward shopper loyalty and drive sales.”
“Weis Markets’ strategy of deploying a paperless coupon program further illustrates that retailers who truly know how shopper behavior is changing are adding digital promotions to their marketing mix,” noted Inmar CEO David Mounts. “The convergence of paper coupons, digital media and digital coupons in promotion-based marketing is rapidly increasing."
Miss. attorney general calls on Google to remove rogue pharmacy ads
NEW YORK — Google has removed advertisements for websites that sell drugs without prescriptions, following a series of warning letters from a state attorney general, according to published reports.
Mississippi attorney general Jim Hood sent a letter to the internet giant last week asking the company to "substantially address" the ability of consumers to obtain illegal and counterfeit goods, including prescription drugs. Hood is co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General’s intellectual property committee. He said he had made his concerns about Google known, but had not received any substantive response to date.
"On every check we have made, Google’s search engine gave us easy access to illegal goods, including websites which offer dangerous drugs without a prescription, counterfeit goods of every description and infringing copies of movies, music, software and games," Hood said. "This behavior means that Google is putting consumers at risk and facilitating wrongdoing, all while profiting handsomely from illegal behavior."
Hood noted that Google removes large amounts of content illegal in the United States and other countries – such as child pornography, Nazi propaganda from its German portal and content that insults religion from its Indian portal – but not content related to illegal purchase of prescription drugs.
In 2011, the company settled allegations of allowing illegal prescription drug sales with the Department of Justice and paid a $500 million fine, but Hood told USA Today that they had not proactively pursued the issue since then.
On Tuesday, the non-profit group Digital Citizen Alliance released results of an investigation of illegal online pharmacies, including a video in which a 15-year-old boy was able to order prescription drugs online even after admitting he was only 15 and using his father’s credit card.
"Sadly, it’s a video you have to see to believe," Digital Citizens Alliance executive director Tom Galvin said. "We were shocked at how easy it was to try to place an order. Our teen placed orders for prescription painkillers, and the operators never flinched. They didn’t care about his well-being — just his money."
And on Monday, the group called on Google to better police YouTube after it found videos containing instructions on activities such as obtaining drugs without prescriptions.
Walgreens reaches agreement with DEA
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday reached an agreement settling DEA concerns relating to the distribution and dispensing of controlled substances. The company released the following statement from Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness:
“Today we reached an agreement with the DEA and the Department of Justice that settles and resolves all administrative and civil matters arising out of DEA’s concerns relating to the distribution and dispensing of controlled substances. We have worked closely with DEA over the past several months to reach this agreement, which concludes the DEA’s review of our operations and provides direction going forward.
“As the largest pharmacy chain in the U.S., we are fully committed to doing our part to prevent prescription drug abuse. We also will continue to advocate for solutions that involve all parties – including leaders in the community, physicians, pharmacies, distributors and regulators – to play a role in finding practical solutions that combat the abuse of controlled substances and ensure patient access to critical medications.
“As part of the agreement with DEA, and our continuing desire to work with DEA to combat prescription drug abuse, we have identified specific compliance measures – many of which Walgreens has already taken – to enhance our ordering processes and inventory systems, to provide our team members with the tools, training and support they need to ensure the appropriate dispensing of controlled substances and to improve collaboration across the industry.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Walgreens will pay $80 million, which the company reserved in previous quarters, including $25 million in its most recent quarter ended May 31. The company expects the total impact of the agreement and other associated costs to be 4 to 6 cents per share in its third fiscal quarter.
The agreement resolves all pending litigation and requires Walgreens to surrender its DEA registrations at only six of its more than 800 Florida pharmacies until May 2014 and at its Jupiter distribution center until September 2014. Walgreens has already taken steps to ensure that there is no disruption to the supply of medications to our pharmacies, the company stated.