Issue: Portal Takes
on Print with 'Dinosaur' Piece
Online has been distributing a direct mail piece to small businesses that
positions its online Yellow Pages not as a complement to, but as a replacement
for the printed Yellow Pages. The AOL piece offers businesses an enhanced
listing product that includes logo, business description, map and Web
links, for $49 per month if the order is placed by August 30.
Under a picture of
a T-Rex dinosaur, the piece carries the headline "Your Print Yellow Pages
Ad. Is It Becoming Extinct?" Inside, the piece cites data on growth in
online directory traffic and a decline in consumer perceptions about the
value of the core product. It also compares the relative cost of the printed
product and AOL's online YP offering in an effort to make the case for
investing in AOL's Yellow Pages service.