BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J., April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) today unveiled a new name – Local Search Association – alongside a new visual identity, reflecting the industry's transition from print publisher to a provider of local search services to small businesses and their consumers.
CityGrid, MerchEngine, Kudzu, Telnic Limited, Kenshoo, Thrive Analytics, deCarta, dotMobi, VendAsta Technologies and NO PROBLEM have signed agreements with the rebranded Association, making them the newest members of the growing industry group and cementing the Association's commitment to a forward-looking and collaborative approach. CityGrid is a large content and ad network that connects buyers and sellers through its Citysearch, Insider Pages and Urbanspoon sites.
YPA, founded in 1975, historically served Yellow Pages publishers and their vendors. Now, the Local Search Association will serve its long-time Yellow Pages members – which have themselves integrated digital and mobile services into their product mix – as well as the ever-expanding universe of companies connecting local buyers and sellers through digital advertising, social networking and mobile platforms.
"The Local Search Association joins together the best local search marketers that deliver time-tested and cutting-edge solutions spanning digital, print, mobile and social media, helping local businesses succeed by driving business leads," said Neg Norton, Local Search Association president.
"Our new brand reflects the transformation of Yellow Pages companies into integrated marketing and local search solutions providers, and better positions us to attract new members, including CityGrid," said Joe Walsh, Local Search Association board chairman. "They are part of our industry and face many of the same opportunities and challenges as our traditional member base."
For the past five years, Yellow Pages companies have re-engineered their business lines and built new partnership models. These new offerings, combined with their local sales presence and role as trusted marketing advisors to local businesses, position them for success in the broader local search space.
Print, Digital, Mobile, Social Come Together as Local Search
Print Yellow Pages remain key for local businesses seeking qualified sales leads from ready-to-buy consumers. The Local Search Association's media usage study, conducted by Burke, finds that two-thirds of U.S. adults use print Yellow Pages. But as the local media mix has diversified, so has usage. Today, consumers consult multiple sources of local information before buying a product or service.
New Look With a Familiar Touch
The Association's new logo incorporates a clean and modern design with a nod to the strong connection advertisers and consumers have with the Yellow Pages' iconic walking fingers. The fingers have been given a more movement-oriented touch and dropped into the Local Search Association name, signifying Yellow Pages' integral role as part of local search.
"Many of our member companies include the walking fingers on a diverse set of brands, so we did not feel we could walk away from our heritage because in many ways it's our future," said Norton. "Whether you are a Yellow Pages publisher or a pure digital player, the fingers have always represented the idea that if we make it simple for consumers to find and select a local business, our advertisers will win and we will be successful."
Under the new brand identity, the Local Search Association will transform its member services, which include everything from media usage reporting, business networking opportunities, and educational programming. The Local Search Association's inaugural event will be its annual conference – themed "Search Starts Here" for 2011 – in Las Vegas. Keynotes speakers include executives from Facebook, iCrossing and Yellow Pages Group, among others.
About the Local Search Association
Formerly the Yellow Pages Association, the Local Search Association (www.localsearchassociation.org) is the largest trade organization of print, digital, mobile and social media that help local businesses get found and selected by ready-to-buy consumers. Association members include U.S. and international Yellow Pages companies, search engines, online listings and review sites, digital advertising agencies and mobile search providers. The Association has members in 29 countries.