Several UK portals have formed a partnership to act as a distribution channel for large-scale voucher and discount campaigns.

The CouponNET service, created by online vouchering company Couponstar, will see it hosting ‘voucher galleries’ on third party sites and effectively creating a UK affiliate network focusing purely on freebies and discounts.

“It will give us the ability to cost-effectively distribute coupons to a much wider audience, which is what our clients are demanding,” Oliver Felstead, Couponstar’s European GM, told E-consultancy.

Sites participating in the programme, which Couponstar said has already proved successful in the US, include GMTV, Bounty and Closer Magazine.

It will allow retailers to syndicate their coupons beyond their own sites, while also tracking the response to campaigns. Various web-based promotions have spiralled out of control in recent weeks, helped by the popularity of ‘unofficial’ coupon aggregation sites. Couponstar says its printable voucher technology allows retailers to limit the number of coupons consumers can receive.

Separately, Felstead also said Couponstar was close to launching contextual targeting for voucher campaigns, as well as video vouchers – where retailers effectively pay consumers to watch online video ads.

“We are going to have live implementations soon of video coupons, where consumers are required to watch a TV commercial streamed to them over the internet, before they print a secure coupon off.

“It’s about marrying together the brand experience with something more tactical and measurable. Advertisers get to identify the impact of the brand advertising they are spending all this money on.”

Threshers and Hamleys, we hope you’re taking notes….