Issue: Is GDS Demise
a Blow to the ASP Model?
Donnelley (RHD) announced that, barring a sale, it will discontinue its
Get Digital Smart (GDS) operation by the end of the year. The company
anticipates a $3 million charge for closing down the operation, which
was testing a stand-alone sales model in South Florida that, if successful,
might have exercised considerable influence throughout the online Yellow
Pages field. Instead, the effort now emerges as a cautionary tale about
the difficulty of building a scale business out of fragmented local markets
and the willingness of small businesses to invest significant dollars
in creating an active Web presence.