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P&G coupon pages

(May 2017 update: Missing your P&G coupons? Click here for the very latest on this story.)

Back in the olden days of couponing, you would open your Sunday newspaper and be surprised at whatever coupons were inside. And you never gave a thought as to whether others might have received different, or better, coupons than you did.

But times have changed.

In this age of social media, coupon bloggers and Sunday Coupon Previews, well-read couponers know days, even weeks, in advance what coupons to look out for. And when they open their Sunday papers and don’t see what they expect – watch out.

Procter & Gamble has found itself inundated with complaints, over its use of a marketing tactic that just about every other coupon-offering company uses without issue. Many couponers who had their hopes up for a selection of high-value laundry coupons in this past Sunday’s P&G brandSAVER insert, are upset that they didn’t get them.

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“I had a multitude of emotions today when I opened my P&G coupon insert from today’s paper,” a commenter wrote on P&G’s Facebook page. “First was confusion. Second came anger. Third came betrayed.”

Anger? Betrayal? How do coupons for a few bucks off soap, provoke such strong reactions?

Since the first unofficial previews of the February 2016 brandSAVER began trickling out a couple of weeks ago, many couponers were buzzing about a high-value coupon offering $3 off Tide Pods or Gain Flings that was said to be in the insert. The smallest-size packages sell for under $4 in many stores, so a $3 coupon could get you a package for under a buck. Also included in the insert previews were coupons for $2 off Tide or Gain detergent, $1 off two Tide, Bounce or Downy products and $0.50 off one.

So imagine the surprise that many felt when they opened their insert – or inserts, if they bought multiple newspapers – and saw only a big blank spot where the coupons should have been, with small black lettering inviting them to “Go to pgeveryday.com to print out your Tide, Downy, Bounce, and Gain coupons!”

“I bought extra papers today just because I knew P&G inserts were in there, with coupons I thought I would get,” one Facebook commenter complained. “P&G needs to be ashamed of themselves for the rip off coupon insert in this week’s newspapers,” another wrote. “To get this in our Sunday circulars is a huge slap in the face,” added a third.

Many regions received the coupons (pictured at right, above). But many did not (pictured at left). That had some couponers suspecting some kind of conspiracy. “Procter & Gamble is doing a national sting this weekend,” wrote one commenter in a Facebook coupon group. “The $3 off Tide coupon is not going to be in 95% of the nation’s Procter & Gamble inserts in order to combat illegal theft of inserts.” P&G would be able to track where the coupons went and where they ended up, the commenter suggested, as part of an effort to identify the sources of those who sell large volumes of inserts and clipped coupons.

The truth is somewhat less intriguing. “The value and variety of coupons will vary from month to month and even by region,” some commenters on P&G’s Facebook page were told. A P&G spokesman elaborated on that point, to Coupons in the News: “P&G continuously tests ways to reach consumers and extend more valuable offers to our most loyal customers.” In order to maximize P&G’s return on investment, the company says, it’s merely testing regional targeting of certain offers, where they’re likely to have the most impact.

Generally, the content of P&G’s coupon inserts has been consistent across the country, with only the value of some coupons varying. But the coupons inside the SmartSource and RedPlum inserts vary widely by region, with many different parts of the country getting very different offers. And now, it appears, the same could be true for future P&G inserts, as P&G tests what the other insert publishers have been doing for ages. So it’s not a diabolical plan to punish certain regions, eliminate insert coupons altogether or ensnare any segment of couponers in a trap.

Even so, the whole situation still stings to many, who gripe that P&G went about it in a somewhat inelegant way. Even to casual couponers who never saw a preview, a big white spot taking up half a page was a clear indication that something that ought to have been there was instead blanked out. The invitation to “go to pgeveryday.com to print out your Tide, Downy, Bounce, and Gain coupons” suggested to some that the very coupons missing from the printed insert would be available online instead – when in reality, it was just a generic invitation to visit the website for a selection of printable and load-to-card P&G product coupons.

And some complain that the tactic will only help insert sellers, instead of hurting them. “They want us to support coupon clipping services!” one Facebook commenter wrote. P&G is “letting other regions sell the inserts, that should’ve been in our papers, get rich off of us,” another commented. Added a third, “I see more and more people finding those that did get the coupons and using clipping services. Which will further cripple and hurt the ones like me that do not.”

In the end, it’s important to note that coupons are not a reward, or a right – they’re a marketing tool. Companies want to sell their products, by getting the right coupons into the right hands. And offering fewer high-value coupons to fewer shoppers now, may allow P&G to offer more high-value coupons to more shoppers in the future.

That’s one way to look at it. Or you can skip the Sunday Coupon Previews altogether and go back to opening your newspaper and being surprised at what’s inside. When it comes to getting your hopes up, and comparing your coupons with others’, knowledge may be power – but maybe blissful ignorance isn’t so bad either.

82 Comments

  1. I have NEVER been able to print a Tide coupon. It is 2020 and you would think this would be an easy thing. Their website is terrible. I wonder why they don’t just put it in the Sunday paper like they do for their other products?? Makes no sense to me.

    I have switched to Persil and I like it better. They have coupons in the paper all the time. No coupon – no purchase!

  2. Every time I go to the P&G website to print the so-called Tide coupon, it’s not there. Well, I guess it’s time to start using another laundry detergent. It’s just not worth it anymore, and I am tired of these marketing schemes.

  3. It is happening with my head&shoulders coupon ;'( it asks to add it to a shoppers card, the only one in the list is Safeway (no CVS or Walgreens), and it is not accepting the phone number I have associated with the card!

  4. DELORES MULLEE says:

    I AM VERY UN HAPPY WITH NOT GETTING MY TIDE COUPONS.
    I LOOKED FOR THEM EVERY WEEKEND.
    I WILL NOT BE BUYING TIDE NOW AT ANY TIME.
    I HAVE NO PRINTER AND I AM 84 WOULDN’T KNOW HOW TO USE ONE ANYWAY.
    I AM FROM CADILLAC, MICH.

  5. Carol Pavoni says:

    This is so crazy! I just got my printer fixed and printing the coupon is just not worth the time and trouble! Their are plenty of great detergents out there that are just as good with coupons you can cut out when you need them, and you get no stress!! P&G get your act together, our lives are way too busy, raising children, working, cleaning and doing laundry when their is detergent on the shelves that do the same job! Thanks but no thanks I’ll get my laundry just as clean, and get my available coupons for different detergents, and use some stain sprays when needed with some of their coupons!!! I don’t need any more stress in my life! Thanks anyway. Finally stress free laundry!!

  6. Diana Sutton says:

    Anything to get your info. I stopped short of my phone number. I don’t want my info out there in this day and age. I subscribed, and then quickly unsubscribed. if they want me to use their coupons and buy their products, they need to just have them in the paper, readily usable.

  7. Honolulu, Hawaii did get link to the coupon. For me its not worth sharing my personal info for some coupons. I told them that, then unsuscribed.

  8. I buy 4 papers especially when p&g are in them, cause I buy 4 bottles of tide a month. I think it’s crazy cause I can get any other detergent for cheap but this detergent I pay a lot more for even with coupons. I do it because I like it. But I don’t check the previews, or buy from clippers. I had so much trouble getting the 1 coupon allowed on the site to print. It isn’t worth all the trouble when other companies have detergent that does the same job and costs less. I understand the comment of other companies don’t put the same coupons in every ad. Well here is a suggestion to the company for marketing. If you don’t want to put it in the ad then 1) put in your circular a note to the consumer stating that y’all are going to be putting coupons in the ads at random and it will be that way from here on. 2) don’t put a link for the coupon online!!!! This is where everyone is feeling ripped off. No other company puts a picture of what should be the coupon and then says go to our website and print it yourself! That is ridiculous and makes people mad. I understand that coupons are only a few dollars off, but when items are overpriced it helps to make them more affordable. P&g needs to remember that those who coupon are mainly those with families that are trying to save on items they might not be able to spend on without coupons. I understand it is there choice to give coupons and I appreciate that. But they also need to remember other companies give coupons also by choice and have different tactics that work better.

    • I AGREE WITH P&G PRICES WE CAN LOOK FOR FRUGAL WAYS TOO SAVE!! I HAVE FUN CLIPPING AND DOING MY COMPARING WITH ADS AND BEST PART IS THE SAVINGS. ESPECIALLY WITH GREAT NAME BRANDS. HIGH 5 COUPON CLIPPER!!!!

  9. This past Sunday was the first time i have to print them. So not worth it.

  10. Here I’m NYC we received them in our Sunday paper and sales paper that come to your house

  11. While I was irritated by being directed to a website to clip the coupons, I went, willingly. CVS was running a deal on Tide IF you had the coupon. But the site is buggy. FIRST, P&G wants ALL of your information, and you MUST agree to get spam from them to your email. After all of that, (the better part of an hour) it refused to validate. The cause? (according to P&G) I was using Chrome, and you must use Internet Explorer or Firefox. So I tried again, using IE. But IE blocked the site as a privacy violation, Script alarms going off, and turns out, the P&G coupon site contains some pretty malicious script, over and beyond the standard data mining code. SHAME ON THEM. (And bear in mind, I can tolerate a certain amount of data mining as a cost of doing business). To make a long story short, I googled, “what is the second best detergent.” After years and years of buying Tide, I will never purchase Tide or any other P&G product.

    • Good choice, There are others out there that works just as good. Tide has I veainwashed if ya think about it

    • I agree. If i can get another detergent… even Xtra with oxi clean for 3.00 a huge gallon… ill use that. If you put it in a spray bottle 1/3 cup rest water it works great as a pre treater and takes care of all our clothing. Im not about to waste time and money on ink… printer… paper… time… and laundry soap… if its not in my sunday paper when i need soap.. ill get the cheapest at the dollar general.

  12. Lois Horton says:

    This morning’s Chicago Sunday Trib had no coupons. I think this decision is a very bad business move. Many, many laundry detergents on the market. I am sure I can find something else that will be adequate.

  13. WELL 30000 GA HAVE CANCELED THE PAPER AS OF TODAY THIS IS BS THAT P&G PICKS AND CHOOSES WHICH STATES GET WHAT. I KNOW I WONT SUPPORT THE PAPER OR P&G PRODUCTS I BEGAN USING ALL AND PREICL, MUCH BETTER PRODUCTS THEN TIDE

  14. We haven’t gotten the coupons in the OKC paper in almost a year. There are still “coupon fairies” out there if you really want the coupons. I personally think it is a conspiracy to get us all to stop using their products and to close down the plant sites to move to another country, just like they did in Venezuela. Now those people there can’t get anything (toilet paper, laundry soap, etc). It doesn’t bother me to not get Charmin, because all it does it cost more money for a plumber to come and unclog your septic tank because the paper is to thick to dissolve in water. And Tide has so many chemicals in it, that I’m surprised everyone that uses it don’t have cancer or breathing problems yet.

  15. 30 minutes online and still awaiting a $0.50 coupon. vs clipping from paper…Not worth it-No longer a P&G customer. so many comparable products to chose from (from a 40 yr customer)

    • Totally agree! I’m a 36 year + customer, but after spending 30 minutes or more entering info, validating info, they needed to send an SMS message, but I have no cell phone! Tried to unregister, but the site said there was a technical error! After all that aggravation for a couple of coupons, I’m like you and think I will rethink P&G products. If they cannot provide an easier way to save money on their products, I’ll go with another company. I’ll just need to research where their tentacles end.

  16. no longer buying Tide with stupid change, its on soap. And selling my stock

  17. In Canada websaver.ca and smartsource.ca sell P & G coupons through the website zebracoupons.com so I guess selling P & G coupons if a professional company does it.This website just started selling coupons last week.

  18. For those of us that are on a very unflexible income…we can’t afford to spend extra to print them. At the library it’s $.25 a sheet of paper and it only prints one coupon per page. Where I live, there is a paper that comes out on Fridays and it usually has coupons in it. It is $.50 a paper. My grandpa takes the part of the paper I don’t need and I coupon for him and my household. He is also on a fixed income. I pay extra close attention to the sales and my coupons I clip…it has saved me money so that I can actually put back a few dollars for things that might suddenly pop up like car tires.
    I can only use Tide because I’m allergic to a tone of detergent that’s out there. So this would be awful. I hope they don’t do it here.

    • just informed my wife we will no longer be buying PG products after 40 years due to change in coupons. Im old, spent 30 minutes online tryng to print stupid $.50 coupon, failed attempt and now they have my personal info…No more, And Im selling my 100 shares stock tomorrow

  19. My only complaint about this new procedure is I’m not getting the product for my buck. I mean if I’m buying newspapers and spending $2 per paper and not getting the coupons I seek, and instead told to go to a website to only be able to print 2 coupons when I purchased 10 newspapers, this is hardly fare to me as a consumer. All future insert calendars should specify PRINT ONLY so that me as a consumer knows I may want to opt out of buying the paper. Needless to say by not having the coupon I seek I’m not buying the product as it no longer is within my price range of what I want to pay for it.

  20. I buy products based on discounts, sales and the aide of coupons. So if the product is not affordable because I do no have a coupon to bring down the price than so be it. I just pass on buying the product. With the right sale, store discount and coupon I can many times purchase Tide for $1 to $1.50 per bottle but without that magical $2 coupon, no way will I buy it. I’d just assume focus on another brand like All Detergent for $1 to $1.5 or another brand with coupons. So it doesn’t hurt me either way, if anything I just won’t be a customer of Tide.

  21. If you didn’t get any coupons in your insert and you really hare it then buy a competitors laundry detergent.

  22. None in indianapolis and i agree it would not even be an issue with even going somewhere else to have them printed off but most stores around here wont take the printed coupons. Thats the only issue I have

  23. Sweet Home Alabama got them!!!

  24. Sweet Home Alabama received them!

  25. This is upsetting because if people keep complaining like this to the companies, the companies could just decide it’s too much trouble and stop giving coupons. I mean really, perspective people. Of all the great deals P&G gives us, from Catalinas, to great coupons, to bonus deals and gift cards, I think we need to just say thank you.

  26. couponing to save a buck says:

    Heres an idea…. Coupons are for saving the value of the coupon giving to you, couponing,, can be a hobby and can be a fun one, it shouldnt be an ADDICTION you dont need 30 pack of TIDE PODS so who cares?!?!?

  27. This really sucks in my opinion…. I bought 50 and several of us kick in to buy them…. Others aren’t going to want the inserts.. I guess I will be stuck with them and the cost of the inserts. I think everyone should email proctor and gamble and complain. i think i will leave my message as something like this: go to any store and see the tide still left on the shelf, the consumers have gone with more honest competitors on coupons….

  28. The negative entitled attitude is so ugly. I didn’t get any here in Connecticut but ok. Just find a quoin for some other detergent, it’s not the end of the world. I love couponing but I won’t do it illegally nor will I clear shelves. Why be upset with a company for not offering you a high dollar q. Get over it and grow up. I work a full time and part time job and make a pretty decent salary. Couponing is my hobby. When I had needs that weren’t being met, I got another job.

  29. How do they know that you don’t have a subscription to the newspaper in the area that the $3 qs went to. I’m in Colorado and I have 5 subscriptions LA’S paper. So would they track that as fraud?

  30. That’s a great idea but can’t you just go to a store or two & ask them to save their leftover papers for you? I have a gas station and a grocery store that do this for me. I get anywhere from 40-60 free papers every Sunday night. They just throw them out anyway.

  31. I was mad only for the simple fact that jot everyone have a computer or printer to print the coupons. I always open the paper and see whats inside before I buy. And if there is a coupon I want and my area didnt get it. It called family all over the US! So I will get it one way are another.

  32. I live in Spring Hill Florida which is Hernando county is a very small area in Brooksville which is less than 15 minutes is even smaller city and they got them there also so its not necessarily the size of your city

  33. I live in Ohio and it seems like our coupons are such low amount any more .25 cents for Charmin or Bounty – really – I know the coupons are based on the cost of living but you have to realize that a lot of people rely on couponing to make ends meet. I teach a couponing class and that is the #1 reason people coupon – P&G needs to realize that people rely on these high value coupons to make ends meet in states like Ohio. Just because our cost of living is lower doesn’t mean we are all rich and don’t have to use coupons.

    • There are lots of ways to save money without coupons. If you can’t afford Tide without coupons, consider switch if brands? P&G really has no responsibility for ensuring you can afford their products. Poverty isn’t their problem- lest we forget they’re a business. I’m not saying that’s right…but you don’t see people demanding high value coupons from car companies or luxury cosmetics or cruises. For some people, name brand detergent is just as much a luxury as these items and they need to adjust their shopping accordingly without expecting savings no one is required to provide.

  34. I got in mine in Michigan…this article states it’s illegal to purchase high volume of inserts. I go to my paper distributor and buy a bundle of papers….it’s called the couponers special. Every Wednesday I go buy 30 papers for $19

  35. None in Sacramento, CA

  36. Could it be that only big cities where groceries are very expensive is where the coupons were in the paper? The Chicago Tribune had them. Just a thought…..

  37. None in Lexington Kentucky

  38. None in Levittown, PA

  39. The stores in VA where I am located refuse to take printed coupons. Because of coupon fraud. Thanks P&G I guess I will be switching to another brand.

    • Perhaps that coupon fraud is specifically why your region didn’t get the coupons? Not sure, but its a coincidence worth considering…

  40. If you put the coupons in this P&G insert then why didn’t we all get them then you put them in different regions. That is not fair and we all want these coupons. I was very disappointed when I seen a blank page and saying to myself “WTH is this and asking people on Facebook did they have a blank page and most of us said yes and was very mad. I even bought extra papers to get these coupons. You need to send them to us like were suppose too. Please respond to this email as soon as possible. Thank you

    • You realize this isn’t a page remotely affiliated with P&G right?

      Plus- you win more flies with honey than vinegar. Try being less demanding when you do contact P&G…considering they don’t actually owe you anything (including an explanation).

  41. I’m in Columbus Ohio and I did not get any either

  42. Arizona none buuuu

  43. Arizona none

  44. None in chillicothe, ohio

  45. Not in Philadelphia PA

  46. En indiana dan los insert muy pobres yo miro que en otros estados asta los venden.para otros ,tampoko nos llego el de tide de $3 …

  47. Here’s a thought for P&G. I did get mine, but I would not have had an issue if I could have printed them off. On the other hand, my mother would never consider printing coupons. They need to consider the demographic they are marketing to. Those that are over 60 will be less inclined to utilize technology for coupons. They will purchase the products that they receive coupons on, in their sunday papers. And YES, the over 60 market is huge… think about that.

  48. None in Indiana

  49. Lei Mataalii says:

    NON IN HAWAII.

  50. It not right I pay $2.50 for a Sunday paper to get this bs. And now I have to buy them bc online is only the $2 off pods

    • Paying for a paper entitles you to have inserts- not specific coupons. As long as your paper has the inserts promised, they have fulfilled their business contract with you. Companies are under no obligation to offer coupons in said inserts or to offer coupons of certain values- or even coupons in the same inserts across regions. In fact there are often ads in inserts that don’t correspond to any coupons. These are advertising brochures for companies- they can participate however they want. That is between them and the newspaper who buys the inserts for inclusion.

      and p.s. you don’t “have” to do anything…many people find ways to support their family and find great deals without resorting to buying coupons (something that is ethically gray to begin with)

  51. “In the end, it’s important to note that coupons are not a reward, or a right – they’re a marketing tool.”

    Exactly- sometimes the entitlement of couponers is rather appalling. This attitude is often at the crux of the mentality for those that misuse, shelf-clear, and generally act without manners while in retail stores IMHO. As far as I see it- this sentence hit the nail right on the head!

    • I dont think its a sense of entitlement. People pay for the Sunday newspaper at a higher price because of the coupons. If the coupons are not there, then the people would not buy it.

      • Paying for a paper entitles you to have inserts- not specific coupons. As log as your paper has the inserts promised, they have fulfilled their business contract with you. Companies are under no obligation to offer coupons in said inserts or the offer coupons of certain values- or even coupons in the same inserts across regions. In fact there are often ads in inserts that don’t correspond to any coupons. These are advertising brochures for companies- they can participate however they want. That is between them and the newspaper who buys the inserts for inclusion.

        Being upset about this is like being mad at your local restaurant for not offering groupons you like. You sign up for groupon- no business is required to offer them and groupon has no control over the value of offers businesses include on that site. Demanding a business offer more/better/any groupon would seem preposterous and entitled, failing to see how this is different!

    • “This sentence hit the nail right on the head” sounds like you have some sort of entitlement also.. Not all couponers misuse, shelf clear and generally act without manners. Where do you shop to see this? or is this just a generalization or the mentality of someone who doesn’t understand the concept of companies putting out a coupon with the intent it will be used. The stores get reimbursed for them and aren’t out the money so if I want to buy 20 tide bottles if I can get them for $2 instead of buying one for $5 or $6 and then again in a week another one and another one one a week later. I have soap that has saved me 60-80 that no one is out any money. So why you gotta be hating so much on coupons? Yes, I was bummed about the Tide, I can go to the website and print 1.. but I bought 5 papers hoping to get 5 coupons. I know we aren’t entitled to any coupons, but not sure why you seem so entitled to put everyone in their place.

  52. If your unhappy you didn’t get the high value coupons just don’t buy any P & G products.The only thing businesses understand is money and the lack of it.

    • AMEN!! If your paper missed the Tide coupons than don’t buy any Tide products until NEXT month’s set!!! They come out almost every month and I buy enough to last 2 months just in case they pull something like this because they usually do!!

  53. I’m glad we got our coupons here in Chicago. What places didn’t get them?

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