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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

BellSouth Expands Distribution with Switchboard
Charles Laughlin , 12/9/2002

Issue: Deal a Boost to Switchboard's Fortunes

News: BellSouth Intelligent Media Ventures LLC announced last week that it has signed a deal with Switchboard Inc. to incorporate advertiser listings and ad content covering the nine states in BellSouth's operating territory into the Switchboard.com online directory. The deal is expected to launch on the Switchboard.com network during the first quarter of 2003.

Switchboard reports it has five million unique users per month to its Switchboard.com online directory. Of that, roughly one-quarter is based in BellSouth's nine-state Southeastern U.S. territory, according to Switchboard Senior Vice President Mark Canon. Switchboard.com features both Yellow Pages and White Pages listings. The deal, specific terms of which were not disclosed, does not involve access to AOL Yellow Pages distribution (AOL utilizes the Switchboard.com online Yellow Pages platform).

The deal, however, does include adding Switchboard's enhanced listings information to the BellSouth listings. According to Mark Canon, there are currently 1.25 million listings covering 150 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and 200 Yellow Pages headings. The data include additional "copy point" information behind Yellow Pages listings, which Switchboard has been compiling over the past several months. About one-quarter of the data covers businesses within the nine BellSouth states, according to Canon.

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