Daily Deals By Newspapers: Archant Buys A Local Groupon Clone

It’s not exactly Groupon or LivingSocial, but Tickles, a Norfolk, England-based daily group deals service, is selling 50 percent of itself to a regional news publisher, Archant (price undisclosed).

Last month, I wrote that local media, which have been losing many advertisers to the internet, have blown a second-wave online opportunity by not inventing the daily deals phenomenon themselves – after all, they used to own relationships with local advertisers almost exclusively.

HTFP: “The partnership with Archant will see Tickles promoted through its publications, while its sales teams will negotiate deals for customers.” The site operates in Archant’s core areas of Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich, all of which Groupon also operates in. Tickles claims to have saved buyers nearly £250,000 since launching in May. It has over 20,000 users and an iOS app.

So Archant is at least getting in earlier than its counterparts on a phenomenon which is growing fast. Archant publishes four daily and 58 weekly papers in south-east England and 180 websites.

CEO Adrian Jeakings via HTFP: “Archant’s long-standing presence in the local communities we serve means that we are ideally positioned to negotiate the best deals with local businesses and then give them maximum exposure to attract local customers through our newspapers, magazines, websites, mobile sites and apps.

“This addition to our portfolio of products demonstrates Archant’s drive to find the most innovative and cost-effective ways for our local advertisers to reach their target audience.”

In the States, publishers like McClatchy and Media General have partnered with Groupon to launch daily deal initiatives, powered by and sold by Groupon itself, while others like Cox and Star-Tribune Company are running such programmes in-house using white-labeled technology.