Monday, January 31, 2005 - takes cheap shot at Amazon's Internet Yellow Pages

USA TODAY takes a cheap shot at Amazon's A9 Internet Yellow Pages, but exposes a weakness.

You can read the article, but mostly USA TODAY found several instances where the photos embedded in Amazon's whiz-bang IYP didn't match the listings.

That's something that can be corrected with technology, and I'm certain that the Amazon folks will have it worked out before long.

There was some lame-assed example of abused women's shelters being photographed putting the residents at risk.

Oh, puh-lease. the photographs are not the issue. The issue is that Amazon is using a national database provided by acxiom (the same database used by Verizon's someone at Amazon didn't know that they needed to filter some of the listings. It probably took all of 10 seconds to fix.

The real story here is that Amazon is probably the best company at gathering data on people's shopping behaviors and then presenting them with personalized guidance that is highly relevant.

Their foray into Internet Yellow Pages is a bold move to begin gathering information on consumer's offline behavior. Nobody has done that yet, and we're not going to see that type of innovation come out of the Yellow Pages industry. - Oops! Amazon's new online Yellow Pages pictures Rockefeller Ice Skating Rink as a bus

SBC Directories going on the Block

Well, SBC denies it, which is the surest sign that it's coming.

The acquisition of AT&T for $16 billion can only be financed by SBC showing huge opportunities for growth. While their directory business is a cash cow, spewing cashflow, it's a no growth business.

Competition from the independents, the internet and their SBC's sheer size have put the directory business in a no growth mode for many years. The future doesn't show any flashes of brilliance on how they will get the elephant to dance.

In short, SBC has a great directory business, just not a growing directory business.

Wall Street punishes companies that can't promise and deliver consistent growth. It doesn't make sense, but it's the way of the jungle.

I have several conversations over the weekend with people close to the subject, and no one seems to know how soon it will happen, but the general consensus is that it WILL happen.

I believe that we'll see the directory business sold off in big chunks to financial buyers. It's incredibly large to consider selling to one investor, and by breaking it up, they can separate the better growing areas from the dragging areas.

What does this mean for advertisers? Well, probably not much in the short term, but over the next few years, the pressure will be cranked up high on the company to produce better results. That's generally good for advertisers who will be key to the company's success.

Anyone want to place a bet on when they announce they're "seeking strategic guidance from an investment banking firm?"

Friday, January 28, 2005

InfoCommerce: Say Cheese: Databases Go Hollywood

The InfoCommerce Report is an insightful look at local marketing issues. Here's a blog posting about Amazon's new IYP

So what does Amazon hope to accomplish with the A9 Yellow Pages? Stay tuned to the Yellow Pages Commando.

InfoCommerce: Say Cheese: Databases Go Hollywood: "Say Cheese: Databases Go Hollywood

Publishers, hold onto your hats and grab your digital cameras: it's looking like the next big battleground in the directory world is going to be visual.

All of a sudden, photos of businesses and buildings are red hot and getting lots of attention. Several months ago, infoUSA announced it had dusted off its mothballed project to photograph every business in America, and would be adding photos to several of its products, including its beefed-up business credit reports. CoStar, producer of a national commercial real estate databases, has a fleet of trucks running around the country snapping shots of every office building. Now,'s new search engine, A9, is generating big buzz with a yellow pages directory with photos of businesses. And, rising above them all is GlobeXplorer (a 2004 InfoCommerce Model of Excellence), which offers aerial photos of America and which are being integrated into several business database products.

Why pictures? Let's face it: directory and databases are very useful, but very useful is not always the same as very interesting. Adding photos makes a database more interesting. In some applications, a picture may well be worth a thousand words. In fields such as real estate, it's hard to conceive of a product without photos. Even in a credit report product, a photo of the business might provide valuable added insight.

But do photos add much to a yellow pages product? I took a quick spin through the A9 yellow pages to try to answer that question. When you do hit a photo of a business (and A9 only has coverage in selected areas right now), it's impressive. A9 offers you a series of snapshots around the business, so you can get a view of the whole street. In a great case of unintended product placement, more than a few of these photos seemed to be of UPS trucks parked at the curb and obscuring the storefront, but overall th"

These fingers are made for walkin', and that's just what they'll do . . .

Yahoo! News - SBC, AT&T discuss merger

SBC to sell its directory business to fund AT&T acquisition.

Oh, nobody's talking about it yet, but they will. If SBC is successful in acquiring AT&T, a move akin to throwing a drowning man a cinderblock, they're going to need to raise some big bucks. Where else can they raise several billion other than their lucrative directory business?

SBC's directory business generates nearly $4 billion in revenue with a substantial portion of that falling to the bottom line. The problem is that it's been a zero-growth business, and Wall Street rewards growth.

SBC will likely sell their directory business to a consortium of investment banking firms who will pretty it up for the public markets. The investors behind Canada's YPG, the spin off of the directory operation from Bell Canada and the spin off of Qwest Dex's directory business have reaped huge windfalls.

Just remember that you heard it here first.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 AOL Adds Pay-Per-Call [Motley Fool Take] January 25, 2005

AOL adding Pay-Per-Call is a smart move, but who's going to be selling it?

Mark Canon, one of the founders of Switchboard recently jumped ship from InfoSpace (which acquired Switchboard last year) to AOL. Mark has long been a proponent of PPCall and integrating it into Internet Yellow Pages as a way to add value and boost profits.

My only question is how AOL plans on selling the new service. They have had spotty success selling space in their own IYP, and this is pretty much the same thing.

AOL has the traffic, they have the technology and ad products, and now the only thing missing is the sales team. AOL Adds Pay-Per-Call [Motley Fool Take] January 25, 2005: AOL Adds Pay-Per-Call
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By Rich Duprey
January 25, 2005

For the small business without the time or expertise to set up a website, Internet advertising is pretty much a meaningless endeavor. The battles raging between Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), AskJeeves (Nasdaq: ASKJ), and other search engines that offer advertiser-sponsored search results are an abstraction. The small business without a Web presence -- some 70% of all small businesses -- is more interested in getting a customer to call.

That's why pay-per-call is revolutionizing the search industry. It gives marketers a chance to reach out to that largely untapped demographic, providing a way for small businesses to reach the tens of millions of people who are online and in need of their products and services.

Rather than pay-per-click, where advertisers pay every time a customer clicks on an ad as it pops up in a search result, pay-per-call has the advertiser pay only when a customer calls a special telephone number. This provides advertisers a much more valuable service, since a customer who calls is much closer to being a customer who buys. It also helps paid search companies: They can charge a lot more for bringing that customer to the advertiser. Rather than pennies-per-click, they can charge dollars-per-call.

The latest marquee entrant into pay-per-call is Time Warner's America Online (NYSE: TWX), which partnered with privately held Ingenio to power sponsored search results. Ingenio owns the technology for pay-per-call. Last year, the small San Francisco-based company began distributing pay-per-call ads through (Nasdaq: FWHT), which supplies paid search results though a network of websites.

The AOL deal is a boost to the model and to Ingenio simply because of the online giant's reach: 22 million subscribers. It already processes more than 700 unique searches a month from more than 35 million unique users. While most originate from within AOL itself, the new partnership is intended to enhance the relevance of AOL Search to all Web users. Although no date has been announced to indicate when the ads will start appearing in searches, the results returned will actually be a mix of paid listings from both Ingenio and Google. The AOL portal has featured Google-powered search results -- both paid ads and relevance-based ones -- since 2002, and in 2003 they inked a multi-year deal.

America Online has refined other aspects of its search tools as well. Users can more easily sort results into different categories using technology AOL originally launched with its Pinpoint Shopping site. It will offer its own "snapshots" of Google's results that link to relevant editorial content or information from other websites, similar to the AskJeeves "smart search" feature.

With small businesses finding pay-per-call an attractive option, that makes the model the next big thing in local search.

Chicago Tribune | Web words become a lucrative market

This article discusses two of the most important aspects of keyword marketing.

First. There is a huge amount of web search taking place, and advertisers are waking up to bidding on search terms.

Second. Near top placement is critical for success in keyword marketing, and the prices for attractive search words is skyrocketing.

Businesses need a balance between keyword marketing and subscription based marketing which allows them to control over time the cost of their advertisements. The economics of traditional Yellow Pages or other directory marketing becomes more attractive as the keywords are bid into the stratosphere.

The downside for traditional Yellow Pages is that over time, more and more references may migrate online, and that could mean a dramatic shift in advertising funds.

Who wins? Google, Yahoo!, and anyone else providing quality search results. Also the companies who place the media for advertisers will be in high demand.

Chicago Tribune | Web words become a lucrative market: "TRENDS: PAYING FOR CLICKS
Web words become a lucrative market
Search results trigger intense price bidding

By Rob Kaiser
Tribune staff reporter
Published January 24, 2005

Companies swarming to have their names and ads appear next to Internet search results have created a burgeoning marketplace for search words, phrases and brand names.

Progressive Insurance pays $8.08 each time somebody clicks on its ad after searching the phrase 'car insurance.' 'Laptop' sells for $2.02 per click, while 'franchise' goes for $5 and 'Internet service provider' for $6. 'Financial help' fetches $5.76, although 'financial advice' only brings in $2.72.

The prices for such words are set through auction-style bidding in which class-action attorneys have run up the word 'Vioxx' to $16.50 per click, while 'mesothelioma,' a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, goes for $39.08.

With Americans conducting more than 4 billion Internet searches monthly, often while shopping for airline tickets, credit cards and millions of other products, companies are battling for top advertising positions on Google, Yahoo and other search engines. The competition has become increasingly sophisticated as companies learn how much business they can generate through the ads.

Similar to stocks, the prices of particular words and phrases constantly fluctuate as businesses jockey for top positions.

But the overall market has exploded, with companies ranging from United Airlines to a Highland Park teddy bear retailer spending a total of an estimated $4 billion last year on Internet search ads. That's up from less than $1 billion just two years earlier, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which studies the market for the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

'It's done wonders for our business,' said William Burr, owner of S&W Manufacturing Co. in Bensenville, which makes indus"

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Deutsche Bank - Equity Research

Here's the latest research report from Deutsche Bank on the Yellow Pages industry. BellSouth finally reversed their revenue trend and reported a quarter with positive growth, but their gross margins slipped a tad. Their margins are still phenomenal, so I wouldn't sweat it.

BellSouth teamed up with SBC late last year to buy the domain name for a cool $97.5 million. It will be at least a year before you see any revenue impact, but it shows a commitment on a long term strategy to build their online properties.

There is so much life left in the print properties that I believe it will be another 5 years before online sales make up a meaningful component of their revenue.

R.H. Donnelley {Ticker: RHD, Closing Price: USD 58.80, Target Price:
USD 61, Recommendation: BUY}.


BellSouth reported 4Q yellow pages revenue growth of 1.1%, the
company's first positive growth rate in at least five quarters, and
a steady acceleration over that same period. Additionally,
management stated that they expect "modest revenue growth" in 2005,
after declining 1.5% in 2004. The main negative in the yellow pages
divisional result was the EBITDA margin which contracted 70bp to
46.6% from 47.3%.


BellSouth was the first major publisher to report 4Q results. The
other two RBOC publishers report later this week, while the U.S.
publicly-traded publishers don't report results until late February
or early March. Although the pure plays have already issued 2005
guidance, BellSouth's positive revenue result gives us greater
confidence that the internet is not having a material impact on
incumbent print revenue.

Below is a partial schedule of the release dates for the major

1/26 - SBC
1/27 - Verizon
2/14 - Yellow Pages Group (Canada)
2/15 - Yell Group PLC (Yellow Book)


Excluding the NPV of the tax shield, RHD trades at only 7.9x 2005E
EV/EBITDA, a 20% discount to the newspaper sector yet converting
much more EBITDA to cash. Our analysis shows the discount should
only be around 15%, providing upside to around $67. Our DCF value
suggests a share price of $61. Risks to our Buy are increased
independent competition, reduced print usage, and rapidly rising
interest rates.

For more information, please click on the attached document.

Paul Ginocchio, CFA
Deutsche Bank Equity Research
(212) 250-8463 -

Monday, January 24, 2005

Yellow Pages can put finger on new trends

Here is a very good article in The Denver Post regarding how the Yellow Pages is an indicator of new business trends.

Here's how an advertiser can benefit.

Ask your Yellow Pages representative to include a new heading for a service that your company now provides. It may even be a service that you've provided for several years that simply is commonly called something different that the current classification.

For example: There currently isn't a category called "Garage Floor Coatings". If you can get the rep to open a new classification, and place a small ad, you'll likely be the only advertiser during the first few years.

The Denver Post

Yellow Pages can put finger on new trends
By Tom McGhee and Will Shanley
Denver Post Staff Writers

Sunday, January 23, 2005 -

Tia Wolkov knows about competition, and Dex knows about Wolkov.

When she bought Pilates Downtown in Denver, Wolkov listed her new company's phone number in Dex Media's Yellow Pages directory. It's her main resource for reaching new customers.

"Right now, the phone book and Dex online are the only way for people to find us," Wolkov said.

As the new directories arrive at metro Denver homes, they carry within their 1,000-plus pages 14 new business categories and hundreds of new businesses.

Dex doesn't claim to have the acuity of Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan in predicting economic trends, but it can offer a snapshot. Dex spokesman Jerry Brown points to growth in categories such as yoga instruction and new categories such as identity theft protection as signs of the times.

"If we get a request for a new category, our people look at it, and if it makes sense to add it, we do," Brown said. "You can't just randomly call in and say, 'I want to be listed as a Purple People Eater."'

Besides Pilates, new categories this year include some that are as obvious as a gold tooth - teeth-whitening services - and as head-scratchingly ambiguous as "medi-spas." Think wrinkle reduction and chemical peels, with a doctor on staff.

Brown warns that just because more bicycle dealers are listed this year than last, for example, it doesn't mean the bike market is taking off. Businesses come and go, as do their Yellow Pages listings. And some list themselves under one heading one year and another the next, he said.

"I wouldn't want to use it to map specific growth, but you do get a picture," he said. "If you look at phone directories historically, you get a good snapshot of what businesses are doing.


New headings offered for the first time in the 2005 Dex Denver metro directory include:

# Animal Control (six listings - wildlife and pest removal)

# Arts & Crafts (four listings - showrooms and supplies)

# Basement Remodeling (36 listings - construction companies and basement specialists)

# Duct Cleaning (seven listings, home and office air system cleaners)

# Electronics (one listing - radio-amp tube sales and service)

# Foot Surgery (eight listings - individuals and clinics)

# Hair Styling (seven listings - salons and Afro hair braiding)

# Identity Theft Protection (one listing - data destruction firm)

# Medi-Spas (five listings - physician-directed skin care and aesthetic treatments)

# Music Stores (three listings - instruments and recording studio)

# Remodeling Services (15 listings - plumbers, roofers, electricians, handymen)

# Teeth Whitening Products & Services (nine listings - clinics and individuals)

# Transportation (seven listings - taxis and limousine services)

# Urgent Care Centers (three listings - walk-in clinics)

Source: Dex Media
"You see that new listings are a reflection of things that are going on in our society. New listings show what five years ago people didn't really think about but are now more mainstream."

Cherry Creek dentist Roger Nishimura is one of nine listed in the new "Teeth Whitening Products & Services" category, but it's a repeat appearance. He also pays $2,000 a month to advertise his business, Aspen Dental, under the "Dentists" category. Why not take a gamble on attracting new business?

Demand is high for the procedure that can boost smile wattage, Nishimura said. "Everybody knows about it," thanks to the "Extreme Makeover"-type reality shows that flooded the airwaves last season.

Though he's sure last year's $1,000-per-month Yellow Pages listing paid for itself, he said he doesn't know how much business he gained from it. This year's larger ad - plus the second listing under Teeth Whitening - is "just another means of letting people know who I am and where I am."

Roughly 4 million businesses spend $14 billion each year to advertise in U.S. yellow pages directories, according to Christopher Bacey, spokesman for the New Jersey-based Yellow Pages Association trade group. The association estimates that companies earn $25 in revenue for each $1 they spend.

Dex publishes 259 White Pages and Yellow Pages directories in 14 states and offers more than 5,000 headings to its business clients. Categories that appear in one city may not show up in another, Brown said.

Anyone willing to browse metro Denver's books will find the following changes over last year's, he said:

Businesses that contribute to health and fitness appear to be growing, including bicycle dealers, martial arts instructors, Pilates studios, sporting- goods stores and yoga instructors.

Professionals who help residents maintain and improve their homes are increasing, including bathroom and kitchen remodelers, interior decorators, lawn and groundskeepers, and painting contractors.

Businesses in the health care field are burgeoning, including alcoholism treatment services, medical clinics, dentists, optometrists and osteopathic surgeons.

Staff writer Tom McGhee can be reached at 303-820-1671 or .

Staff writer Will Shanley can be reached at 303-820-1473 or .

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Complaints prompt investigation into Verizon white page directories

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Here's an article about the Virginia State government coming after Verizon about errors and omissions in their white pages directory. The white pages are supposed to list all telephone numbers of businesses and residences in the local area.

There is a legal requirement of the local utility to publish their listings as a condition for providing local telephone service. It surprises me that the printed directories continue to be more accurate than most online directories. and InfoSpace are the leaders in providing residential listings online. I have done deals with both to provide listings information to (the IYP I publish). Currently I use, and I believe that they give us the best residential listings available.

Here's the article . . .

The State Corporation Commission will begin a formal investigation of Verizon white-pages directories that have generated complaints of errors and omissions.

Roanoke, Richmond, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads customers say their directories have a variety of problems ranging from listings not in alphabetical order to entire communities omitted from the books, said SCC spokesman Ken Schrad.

The investigation will not include yellow-pages listings because they aren’t regulated by the commission, he said.

Schrad said he hadn’t heard of complaints about Verizon’s Lynchburg directory but didn’t rule out the possibility of errors.

“I’m not aware of anything that occurred … specifically in the Lynchburg area,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be some.”

In a statement, Harry Mitchell, Verizon’s Mid-Atlantic region spokesman, said the company will work closely with the commission on the investigation. “Verizon’s goal is to deliver a telephone directory that’s accurate and dependable, and by and large we do just that,” the statement read.

“That said, we have had some errors in certain directories in recent months. We are working hard to prevent their recurrence, and we regret any inconvenience these errors may have caused our customers.”

Some Verizon West Virginia customers have had problems with their phonebooks too, according to RedNova News. Phone numbers are incorrect and some government listings are in the wrong categories.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

How To Use A Simple Sales Letter To Get Anything You Want!

How To Use A Simple Sales Letter To Get Anything You Want!

Craig Garber's son used a powerfully effective sales letter to land his first job. Just imagine if he had used the same approach to launch his own business of washing cars or mowing lawns or walking dogs.

This isn't really directly related to Yellow Pages, but it is critically important because it demonstrates the power of a laser focused approach.

I've been reading Craig Garber's "King of Copy" newsletter for some time now,and I can tell you that this guy is good. Really good.

Any business that ever uses direct mail or direct email should read this letter.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Call Genie's Tele-Yellow Pages

This is really cool.

Yellow Pages Group in Canada teamed up with Call Genie to put together a very cool automated telephone Yellow Pages.

In effect, it's a free directory assistance model that should eventually become advertiser supported.

To check it out, call 647-436-4411(647-GENi411). It is a local Toronto number and it should work from anywhere as a long distance call.

When asked for category say "steak house" and when asked say "landmark" and when prompted, ask for "CN Tower".

If you are not familiar with Toronto, this would give you an idea how the system works.

I'm continually impressed how the Canadians keep pushing forward.

Pick up the yellow pages, but ... which one?

Here's an interesting article about the push for syndicated research in the Yellow Pages industry. I have to take an opposing stance to the other industry leaders on the subject of syndicated research.

In the next edition of the Yellow Pages Commando News, I'll state my views on the subject of syndicated research and the Yellow Pages industry.

Pick up the yellow pages, but ... which one?: "Pick up the yellow pages, but ... which one?
Confusion grows as number of directory offerings proliferates

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
By Teresa F. Lindeman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Upon Bob Beall's arrival in Pittsburgh a few years ago, he took the advice of a national yellow pages agency and bought space in Verizon's Allegheny County phone book for his Mr. Rooter plumbing franchise.

If only it were still so simple. These days, Beall's business has ads in the Verizon book, the Yellow Book and smaller directories such as the North Pittsburgh Telephone Co. version. The plumbing franchise has even begun advertising in online directories.

The $14 billion yellow pages industry, once a rather sedate Ma Bell monopoly, has undergone a competitive explosion. The Yellow Pages Association estimates more than 7,000 traditional U.S. directories offer listings, with a new one published almost every day of the year.

Just which of the often hefty publications is being picked up when people need a plumber is not always clear.

Faced with the threat of losing national ad dollars to other mediums, the industry has wrestled its sometimes bickering members into tackling a problem that threatens all of them: the lack of a respected, third-party referee. It is hoped that telephone surveys that begin this month in more than 90 markets from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles to Milwaukee will give the yellow pages what TV has with its Nielsens and radio with its Arbitron ratings.

'We need to give our clients some answers,' said Stuart McKelvey, president of TMP Worldwide Directional Marketing, which claims to be the world's largest yellow pages advertising agency, handling placements for companies such as Pizza Hut and Ford Motor Co.

Clients have begun insisting on answers. In July 2002, two key groups -- the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies -- paired up for a position paper not"

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Yellow Pages Talk - January 2005 Publication

YP Talk - The voice of the Yellow Pages industry.

Here’s the January edition of Ken Clark’s YP Talk newsletter.  He takes a little different approach to the Yellow Pages industry, and always has good information and interviews with the industry leaders.



January 5, 2005

Issue 1 Vol. 2

Table of Contents

Welcome to the January edition of YP Talk, an information source serving the Yellow Pages industry.

Hopefully you all had an opportunity to enjoy the holiday season and are ready to jump back into work with the start of the New Year. In this month's issue we have tried to collect a wide array of interesting articles:

  • We talked with Chris Cummings, the CEO of Marquette Group and the 5th largest CMR in the industry. Chris provides several unique insights based on his 25 years of industry experience in View From The Corner Office.
  • In this month's Sales & Marketing article, we take a look at how technology can bring additional value to an advertisers program.
  • Several senior woman executives from the industry provide their views in the HR/Personnel article titled "Why Woman Don't Run More Companies"
  • Reaching narrow target audiences is the subject of this month's Research article, courtesy of Joel Raphael from ViewPower.
  • The Printing & Production article covers how a new start-up publisher in China has leveraged the Christmas season to gain market awareness. You don't want to miss this one.
  • A look at the continuing desktop search tool wars is covered in the Tech Talk article.
  • News U Can Use provides a collection of news items you may not have seen elsewhere.

We encourage you to share this newsletter with others. We want to hear from you about other topics we should cover ( We especially want to hear about people in our industry - what they are up to, how they are doing (

Special thanks go to our sponsors, whose support of this effort makes it possible. Don't forget to check out their links for more information about their products and services.

Enjoy. Learn. Prosper.

Hawthorne Executive Search

The View From The Corner Office: A discussion with Chris Cummings, CEO - Marquette Group

Chris CummingsFor this month's View From The Corner Office article, I recently talked with Chris Cummings, the CEO of Marquette Group, the fifth largest CMR in the Yellow Pages industry with over $110 Million in billings.

Chris is one of the better known leaders in the industry due in large part to his 25 years of industry experience in local sales and National Yellow Page programs, as well as his participation in numerous industry efforts as a Board Member of YPA and ADM.

Often when I interview senior level managers in this industry, I find they have been most successful at bringing together an extraordinary range of business experiences which provides them with a unique understanding of how to wrestle with the many business issues they face on a day-to-day basis. Chris is certainly no exception. His background in local sales, National sales, and marketing roles gives him a unique view of the direction he believes this industry needs to head in if it will continue to grow and prosper. He is also not a leader that is happy resting on the recent successes that have propelled Marquette's growth, as best demonstrated by the recent purchase of US Motivation.

To read the full interview, click here.

Marquette Group

Sales & Marketing: Using Technology to Add Value for Advertisers

Ask any local sales rep about the keys to successfully selling Yellow Pages advertising and the unanimous choice is the incredible value story the media has backed by years of supporting research making it so believable, so irresistible to advertisers.

As print publishers try everything imaginable from a product and feature perspective even down to scratch and sniff ads, everyone is seeking the next new thing that will attract new advertising dollars and keep the current programs growing. IYP and search are the hot new discussion topics, but are still in their early stages.

What if a publisher could provide new product features that include:

  • Interactive display ads that showcase key business facts, company logos, product photos, coupons, email forms, web links, maps and more.
  • Display ads integrated directly within search results, allowing consumers to make faster, better-informed purchasing decisions.
  • Real-time, browser-based ad creation, editing, preview and publishing, either by the advertiser or the publisher's sales team.
  • Log detailed click through information so the advertiser gets timely statistics further supporting that value story we all telling.

We think we've stumbled on to something that may just fit that order and it's brought to you by a group called IPIX AdMission.

To read the full story, click here...

HR/Personnel: Why Women Don't Run More Company's
By Ken Clark, Vice President - Hawthorne Executive Search

If you look purely at the stats, you would probably wonder why more women aren't running U.S. companies. Women hold slightly over half of all managerial and professional specialty positions in America, but only about 15.7% of corporate-officer jobs in the largest companies (up from 8.7% in 1995), and 13.6% of board directorships (up from 9.5% in 1995). They hold only 7.9% of the Fortune 500 highest titles, and represent only 5.2% of top earners.

So what's the hold up? A recent survey by Catalyst, a New York research organization surveyed 705 women and 243 men with Vice-President or higher-level jobs in large to midsize U.S. companies to learn about the differences between men and women executives, their attitudes and their work lives. The results were a little surprising:

  • Top women and men executives are equally ambitious and have similar job-satisfaction levels, strategies for advancement, and reasons for leaving companies.
  • But the survey highlighted several key factors that negatively affect women's ability to climb the ladder, some in overt and subtle ways. Women are much more likely than men to cite cultural factors -- for instance, stereotyping of women's roles and abilities -- as obstacles to their advancement. The study also noted that men apparently aren't aware of many of the challenges their female counterparts struggle with.

We asked 25 of the top women in the Yellow Pages industry to comment on the study and whether they have encountered any of these obstacles in their careers.

For the full story, click here...

Research: Reaching Narrow Targeted Audiences
By Joel Raphael, President - ViewPower

A recent article in MediaPost by Tom Hespos addressed the difficulties faced by media planners when dealing with an opportunity to reach a narrowly targeted audience. He was particularly focused on using on-line as a medium. In the on-line world, many companies are able to address highly targeted markets.

However, most of the media planning tools used by planners and buyers focus on classic reach and frequency measures for a "broadcast" message reaching a demographic. They try to put all media on a comparable footing by converting to CPM, cost per thousand viewers/readers.

He points out that the use of demographics as a metric was simply a means to get to the targeted audience. But many clients lose sight of that and think their goal is to reach the demographic, at the lowest possible CPM. Luckily, he had a client who "got it" and understood that it was well worth paying a premium in order to reach this targeted audience.

Well, isn't that exactly the situation with Yellow Pages?

For the full story, click here...

Printing & Production: A New World Version of Public Relations

While the last of the streamers from the New Year's celebration have been cleaned up and most of you have already packed away the Christmas decorations, we thought we would share with you one more story of holiday cheer from a place you might least expect it - China.

A few weeks ago an old buddy Lyle Wolf, who is now Chairman of Yilong Media, Yilong Media Group, a new Yellow Pages start-up with its headquarters in Hangzhou (just west of Shanghai in east central China) shared with me some of their efforts to bring Yellow Pages into the mainstream of Chinese thinking.

Lyle and his team came up with a very creative effort to introduce their new company to the area - a Christmas tree. This is one item you don't want to miss reading.

To read the full article, click here.

Tech Talk: Yahoo Enters Desktop Search Race

As we have reported in prior Tech Talk articles, the fight for a share of the search market has moved from the Web page to your computer desktop. As search engines seek to build loyalty in their user base, Yahoo has joined Microsoft, Ask Jeeves, and Google by releasing their own software to comb users' computers. Yahoo hopes that when its free desktop search service becomes available in early January, it can follow its rivals in an effort to extend the reach of the highly profitable search-related advertising.

Desktop search, which helps excavate information buried on computer hard drives, is seen as the next frontier in the booming search sector that has generated billions in revenues from ads generated by Web search queries.

In this issue we toss Yahoo's new entry in the mix to see what it means to this new technology war, and why the Yellow Pages community needs to watch this carefully.

Click here for the full story...

News U can Use

New Online Local Search Guide

The Yellow Pages Association (YPA), in conjunction with supporting partners' comScore, SEMPO and The Kelsey Group, have stepping in to fill an "information vacuum" by providing a central resource that captures developments within the local search community. YPA launched the Local Search Guide ( with an objective of providing a micro site that serves as a frequently updated "Who's Who" of the local search marketplace, complete with industry viewpoints, glossaries and other resources about the online community.

For the full press release, click here...

Free Credit Reports

Thanks to the Clark Howard newsletter for this item: You are now able to get your credit report once a year from each of the three credit bureaus if you live in many Western states. Better yet, it's free! Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act, you are able to get your free reports today if you live in Hawaii, California, Alaska, Arizona, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico and Nevada. The rest of the country will be phased in over the next year, and by December 2005 every state in the country will be able to get free reports. Find out about your state at If you're good at details and keeping a calendar, you want to get a credit report from each bureau every four months. Your report is your financial report card and you need to review it often. You may want to pay to get your credit score along with the free report. It will tell you what kind of loans you qualify for, and that is good knowledge to have. But don't buy anything else.

Update! The day after the initiative started, credit bureau Experian announced that it would offer free reports to everyone, no matter where they live. For more information, go to I live in North Carolina and was able to obtain mine with no problem. Clark Howard also thinks the other two bureaus will follow suit.

eBay Cranks It Up Another Notch

We continue to watch developments at eBay that have the potential to impact the Yellow Pages industry. Making a move into the online real estate market, San Jose, Calif.-based online auction company eBay recently announced plans to acquire, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based Internet rental listing site, for about $415 million dollars. The acquisition, coming just four months after eBay's purchase of a 25 percent stake in the online classified service Craigslist--is expected to close in the first quarter of 2005. An eBay spokesman said the company plans to operate as an independent entity. eBay also has classified sites in Germany, Korea, India, and the Netherlands.

As eBay continues its horizontal expansion into related content media, how far behind could a purchase in the Yellow Pages space be?

For the full story, click here!

You Will Take a Vacation Next Year

Over the last 20 to 30 years there has been a noticeable shift to shorter vacations. Whether it reflects work schedules and the reality of how much time people can get off, the travel industry has seen more of the four and five-day weekend type vacations than the old traditional two-week off ones that you might remember from your childhood days. Eighty-six percent of 4,000 families surveyed in a Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell poll earlier this year said vacations of five nights or more are ideal, and more than half said seven nights or more would be ideal.

What's also changed is the gap between the vacations people take and the vacations they want. People tend to try to take several of these short trips a year as a Travel Industry of America survey found from the travel habits of 300,000 households.

So how do you realize your vacation dreams? USAToday offers a simple suggestion: Make a New Year's resolution and start planning.

For the full story, click here!

Surfing the Net From Work

We found this one a little hard to believe, BUT a recent BURST! Media survey found that 32.3 percent of employed men, and 24.9 percent of employed women, ages 25 to 34, say they spend three or more hours each day surfing the Web at work.

And what do these "workers" do online? Seems that the most popular Web activities are e-mail and instant messaging with over 60 percent of respondents say they have used the Web at work to connect with others. Other popular online activities at work include checking local or national news (54%), researching the weather (41%), and looking up information about products (35%).

At least for the last one, we hope they are using one of the industry's IYP sites….

For the full story, click here!


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