Community papers look to online ad sales

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Three community newspaper associations have signed on to Kaesu Inc.'sá CoolerAds service.

CoolerAds.com is a network that allows national advertisers to buy ads in local papers, as well as post ads for free on a nationally aggregated site. Advertisers can place multiple ads with a single buy. The CoolerAds site also has a search option where consumers can look up individual ads.

"It's the answer to Craigslist for the local market," said Joe Nicastro, VP of Kaesu. "National advertisers want to get through to the mom and pop market, and the best way is through these local newspapers. It gives the papers an online presence, and it locks the national ads into the newspapers."

The three groups who have signed up for the service û the Mid-Atlantic Community Newspaper Association, the Free Community Papers of New England and the Independent Free Papers of America û represent more than 500 free weekly papers.

While the CoolerAds service focuses primarily on local papers, Nicastro insists that the system can handle a newspaper of any size, paid or free. The company already has 95 clients signed up and hopes to collect at least 100 more within the next 12 months.

The company has a patent pending on its display archive and is also working on a business tools package that will include audio and texting capabilities. Social networking for CoolerAds customers is also in the works.

Nicastro said that CoolerAds' edge over competitors lies in both its technology and its background.

"I worked as a publisher for over twenty years, so we understand them," he said. "Our system was built by publishers for publishers."

"We want newspapers to succeed in print as well as online," Nicastro continued. "CoolerAds is helping them get more classified revenue in print because advertisers are going to the site to put up free ads online, but it's then very easy for them to buy a print ad while they're there."

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