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Feb 13 2006
Berry Adding 100 Digital Reps
Just saw this article in the Dayton Business Journal about The Berry Company's growing online sales force. As we wrote in the last edition of Local Media Journal , Berry recently signed a deal with Marchex to upgrade its guaranteed clicks program, which the publisher tells us has been selling well, with growth at a much faster pace than IYP sales. The new reps will sell both IYP and search engine advertising. TKR will be coming out with an advisory soon that examines current best practices in IYP sales.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  16:06 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 9 2006
AT&T Weighs in on Syndicated Research
AT&T Yellow Pages has contributed to the debate over syndicated research by releasing its own assessment of how it has done so far in its markets measured as part of the ongoing third-party syndicated usage program.

AT&T Yellow Pages (formerly SBC) is the world's largest Yellow Pages publisher, and it operates in major markets in the Midwest, Southwest and West Coast, including such large markets as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Detroit and Cleveland.

According to its press release, AT&T has garnered an average 72.5 percent share of the 26 Yellow Pages Market Reporter studies released so far covering its markets. We called AT&T to ask if they could share any specific examples. They declined, saying that level of detail is being reserved for CMRs and advertisers. Nonetheless, a company spokesman did say that the publisher has a "major usage leadership position, except in a handful of markets."

The AT&T release makes it the fourth publisher to issue a press release touting the outcome of the synidicated research. The others are Verizon Information Services, Yellow Book and Ambassador.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  15:30 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [10]



Feb 9 2006
Hicks Quick to Expand in Canada
Not long after completing its acquisition of Phone Directories' Canadian operations, U.S. buyout firm Hicks Muse is pushing an aggressive expansion into bigger Canadian markets.

Next week, Canadian Phone Directories, the Hicks-backed company led by industry veteran Olivier Vincent, will begin a sales canvass for a Vancouver, BC, phone book. The book will overlay four Yellow Pages Group directories in the city. Vincent told us the distribution will be about 700,000 and rates will be about half those of the largest of the competing YPG books.

Also, CPD will re-launch the Calgary book to give it more distribution and sales muscle. Vincent told us the new Calgary book will distribute 600,000 copies, compared with 350,000 before.

The Calgary and Vancouver directories will both publish in the fourth quarter of this year.

These two developments make it clear that CPD plans to invest in making a more serious competitive challenge to YPG, which is by far the largest incumbent in Canada, than the previous Phone Directories operation was able to do.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  14:52 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 9 2006
Yell's Irritation Over Rate Cap Issue
Yell Group just posted solid numbers for the first nine months of its financial year, which ends on March 31. Its U.S. unit, Yellow Book, continues to post double digit gains, even when acquisitions are taken out of the picture. Results were also good in the U.K., where overall growth was 5.6 percent, and the IYP Yell.com continues to accelerate, growing at 62.4 percent.

The mixed blessing is that in the U.K. Yell faces a looming decision from the Competition Commission on whether to end, minimize, maintain or intensify the rate cap that Yell now operates under. The decision is expected in August, and last month, the commission issued a glimpse into its thinking that suggests its options may have narrowed to either maintaining or intensifying the rate cap.

Yell executives, understandably in our view, have not done very well at hiding their irritation. Yell issued a stinging rebuke of the commission's statement, and has refused to back off since.

The commission seems to think that it can will a share shift into existence by curtailing Yell's ability to raise prices. We think the commission has invoked the law of unintended consequences by forcing Yell to grow through innovation and improved service (both good outcomes), and it has also given the publisher a bit of good news to bring into sales calls each year ("Good morning, prices are lower again this year!").

Rather than accept that pricing intervention has failed because it is fundamentally wrong-headed, the commission seems to think it will work sooner or later if only it causes Yell enough pain.

We see the U.K. as a competitive market, with BT and Thomson competing for share, along with a smattering of other smaller players. Is Yell strong? Of course. In the U.S., its division Yellow Book has grown as a competitive publisher by exploiting a pricing umbrella. In the U.K., that umbrella has been all but folded up by the regulators, leaving competitors out in the wet.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  11:28 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [1]



Feb 8 2006
Yellow Book in Clicks Business
Yellow Book announced today that it has acquired Click Forward, a Coral Gables, Florida-based search engine marketing company. Terms were not disclosed. Yellow Book plans to use the assets gained through the acquisition to develop a local search product to sell through its more than 5,000 local sales representatives.

This deal is in keeping with Yellow Book's recent push to elevate its digital strategy to a higher level. The publisher has been accused by some in the investment community of paying too little attention to digital as it pursues growth opportunities in the traditional business. This acquisition certainly helps Yellow Book break out of the perception that it is all about print.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  10:35 | permalink | comments [2] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 2 2006
Eniro Adds Click-to-Call
Swedish search and directory company Eniro has signed an agreement with Woize International to use the U.K.-based firm's technology to offer a click-to-call feature on its online product porfolio. You can read the press release here.

Eniro plans to offer the service for free initially to its 30,000 online customers as a way to add value to existing programs. Eniro is a leading player in print and online directories and search in the Nordic markets. Its chief rivals include the major "international" search engines, including Google, with which Eniro also is a partner. Offering click-to-call is consistent with Eniro's positioning as the search and directory service that facilitates buyer-seller interaction.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  10:55 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Jan 31 2006
Dex-RHD Deal Closes
As expected, the merger of R.H. Donnelley Corp. and Dex Media closed today. Dex Media is no more, and RHD is now the third-largest U.S. directory publisher, with combined revenues of roughly US$2.5 billion. You can read more about the deal here.

More detail was revealed about the newly combined company's management structure. As we knew, Dave Swanson is CEO and George Burnett will lead the board of directors. Maggie LeBeau, who ran marketing at Dex, will be in charge of marketing in the new organization, and Dex's IYP chief, Simon Greenman, will play the equivalent role in the new RHD. The very top of the organization will be dominated by RHD executives, including Peter McDonald, Steve Blondy and George Bednarz. Al Duy, a longtime associate of Peter McDonald, will be in charge of information technology.

One of the decisions we will watch for is whether RHD will join forces with YellowPages.com to achieve additional scale, or if it will ride on Dex's well-regarded IYP platform to leverage its own substantial footprint.



Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  12:53 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]



Jan 30 2006
Verizon Settles Strike
It was reported late last week that Verizon has settled the strike by 300 CWA workers in upstate New York. Here is an article with details.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  10:14 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]





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