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Weekly Ad Materials & Timing

Last Updated: Jul 25, 2013 10:42AM EDT


IGALink Weekly Ad Services Overview

IGALink provides advanced Weekly Ad features for IGA independents. The weekly ad process is managed by Webstop, IGA’s technology partner. This process creates digital website and mobile-enabled ads  for retailers. The following document provides an overview of the steps involved.


Materials Transfer

On a weekly basis, Webstop receives the following from the weekly ad provider:


  • High Resolution ”Base” Ad PDF - the base ad pdf includes only the ad pages for the first ad zone, from which all other versions are derived. 
  • Store Zones File (Only required for stores conducting versioning) - this document identifies each store that shares an ad and which stores are in each zone. Here is a definition of each document field:                                                                               

Here is an example spreadsheet:

The Store Zone File should be saved using the following format:

(Site)_StoreZones_In_(date in format 'YYMMDD').txt  (or .xls for Excel files)

  • Store Version Maintenance File (Only required for stores conducting versioning) - this document provides Webstop with store-specific version information. Please read the Version Maintenance Files article for instructions on how to create this document. Here is an example spreadsheet:


Webstop works with the LDC, retailer or print house to obtain weekly ad materials. Webstop sets up Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) access for all staff with user and password protection.  Webstop provides training on the creation and transfer of weekly ad materials. 



These ad materials need to be transferred five to six business days prior to  the ad break.


Digital Ad Setup and Store Zones

Working with the ad materials provided, Webstop’s ad department creates weekly ad records in the Webstop Ad Builder system. These records include the dates the ad will be live, the type of ad (base, wrap, insert) and the ad zones for each ad. The Store Zone document provides Webstop with store information that allows Webstop staff to organize the store versions for each ad group.


Webstop’s weekly ad technology can support the display of multiple ads with multiple ad dates at any given time on a retailer website.  In addition, any ad can be displayed prior to the live date, giving consumers a chance to plan their shopping in advance.  Note that the ads and ad items are clearly marked as to their effective sale dates, which is also reflected in the consumer’s shopping list automatically.


Ad Creation

Webstop’s staff creates specific ad item records for items included in a retailer’s weekly ad. By default, ads are organized using the print page hierarchy. Using a Feature Group categorization, Webstop’s staff organizes ad items on each online ad page similar to the way they are grouped in print. 


Webstop sets up tags for ad items that enables links by department, brand and recipe to provide advanced digital browse and search features. Recipe tags allow weekly ad items to be linked with specific Webstop-provided recipes, automatically - an exclusive feature.


Visually Impaired Support

Digitizing weekly ads provides formatting for screen-readers that aid visually-impaired website users. PDF uploads do not support screen-reader technology.


Graphics Creation

Webstop’s Graphics department creates ad item graphics optimized for website and mobile display.  National brands and perishable images are provided by a variety of copyright free sources, and stored in Webstop’s Ad Builder database


Ad Versioning

Each ad zone of a chain or stores, or each store for a group of independents who share a base ad will be defined as a separate ad version, so pricing and item differences are handled automatically.  Webstop’s versioning technology eliminates the need to digitize every print pdf,  which greatly reduces the amount of labor.  Ad version data is provided in a spreadsheet document which lists only the ad items that are different in each version.  


Versioning data includes the page number and description of the item, any price changes, item information changes, additional item creation, and item removal. 


The ad versioning process is based on the idea that ads can be efficiently digitized when each version is very similar to the base ad.  If there are too many differences, the ads will not be versioned, and will be entered manually, a process which is more costly than when ads can be shared through versioning.  Reference the Webstop provided Weekly Ad Sharing topic for details on version limits per base ad.


Proofing and Client Review

Ad proofing by retailers is optional.  Every weekly ad digitized by Webstop undergoes at least a two-step editing process and review for functionality and graphics placement.  Upon completion of the Ad Creation and Graphic Creation steps of the weekly process, a Webstop staff member thoroughly edits the newly entered online base ad, using the original base ad pdf as a guide. After base ad editing has been completed, the online base ad is versioned for each store.  Upon the completion of the Store Versioning, a Webstop staff member thoroughly edits the version records for the weekly ad.  


Once Webstop editing has been completed, retailers are provided access to the weekly ad for optional review and proofing. Ads are available one or two business days in advance of the ad break date. Currently, less than one fourth of Webstop clients review their online ads on a weekly basis.



The weekly ad process is currently used to provide ad services to over 1,000 grocery stores. This process has been refined over many years of operation to become perhaps a very efficient and accurate digital ad process.  


For an online presentation reviewing the IGALink weekly ad process, contact Webstop or IGA.

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