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The French directory publisher PagesJaunes has joined the growing list of global Yellow Pages companies that are building or buying their way into the deal-a-day space. PagesJaunes has acquired the French group buying site, and has rebranded the product as 123deal to be consistent with its 123people online people search brand.

We recently reported that the Australian publisher Sensis has launched its own deal-a-day product, joining Yellow Pages Group, DirectWest, Yellowbook and other publishers with similar offerings.

The logic for publishers is simple. Directory companies see deal a day as a promising new revenue stream, as well as an avenue into new or deeper relationships with advertiser categories that are not traditionally strong in print Yellow Pages, specialty retail and fine dining among them. Plumbers and remodelers are less likely to do a deal on Groupon or one of its clones than a gift shop or an Ethiopian restaurant.

The challenge for PagesJaunes and others is building a base of consumers large and engaged enough to tip deals. We think PagesJaunes may have a better chance than most Yellow Pages companies, given its strong brand in France and its track record for building strong consumer experiences.

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