Gives Advertisers Self-Service Option

Verizon's began offering advertisers an online self-service option yesterday so they can manage their paid listings and other advertising.

The tool lets Internet yellow pages advertisers enter a business listing; create and manage a paid-listings campaign; and receive ad-management reports. Previously, advertisers needed to go through a sales representative. advertisers still can call in for assistance, though Verizon now charges $10 per month for that service.

"There are some early adopters who are comfortable with self-service," Verizon spokeswoman Dana Benton Russell said. "They will appreciate and use the self-service option. There's a large group that's not as comfortable with it yet, so the service center is an option for them."

The Internet yellow pages site began offering paid listings in March through a partnership with, which provides the back-end system for the program.

Local paid search could generate as much as $2.5 billion by 2008, according to The Kelsey Group. In addition to other Internet yellow pages players like, search giants Google and Yahoo have made inroads into the market with local-focused search engines. Google introduced a local advertising program last month, and Yahoo's Overture Services expects to debut its own shortly. Small advertisers on Google and Overture must manage their accounts online.

Advertiser adoption of online customer service is viewed as a hurdle to making local paid search attractive to the 10 million U.S. small businesses, about two-thirds of which have no Web site.

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