European Directories SA, a London-based directories holding company, has named Joris van Oers CEO of DeTelefoongids Holding BV, EDSA’s flagship Dutch operation. Van Oers takes over from EDSA CEO Cornell Riklin, who has been interim head of DTG since April, when former DTG CEO Peter Daarpo left the company. Van Oers comes to DTG from the Dutch telecom KPN.
DTG is a key asset for EDSA. The Dutch market, which BIA/Kelsey values at roughly US$475 million, is a challenging one for a traditional publisher, given 82 percent of the nation’s population is urbanized and its household broadband penetration rate is the highest in Europe, also at 82 percent.The company has been moving aggressively to shore up its digital offerings. In August, DTG partnered with Tupalo.com, to launch a social-local site in the Netherlands. EDSA is an investor in Tupalo, which launched in Austria in 2008.
The company has also developed an immersive Yellow Pages platform that it is rolling out across all of its European properties. Here is one example.
And as my colleague Mike Boland noted this week, EDSA unveiled a “business funded click to call” partnership with Skype that covers all of EDSA’s properties. Essentially the deal allows merchants to offer consumers a free Skype call to reach them by funding those calls themselves. Otherwise, callers can still use Skype but will pay normal charges. Skype reports having 480 million registered users worldwide. EDSA works with more than 700,000 businesses across Europe.
Here is what EDSA CEO Riklin said in the announcement:
“This partnership is a great example of our evolution from a print centric company to one truly focused on lead generation. By working with Skype, European Directories can now offer its advertisers leads from yet another source in addition to existing channels such as mobile applications, print publications, our own online search sites and those of our partners. The new Skype ‘Free Call’ button will turn search for businesses into calls and leads for businesses. It will make our advertisers stand out from competition everywhere on the internet, including in search engines.”