Thomson Directories, the local listings provider with the blue cat, is branching into pay-per-click online advertising.
Through a service called The Online Agency, it aims to simplify search marketing ad buying on Google and Yahoo! for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME).
ThomsonLocal.com general manager Laura Pelling said:
"We understand that the SME may not have the time to maximise their returns from online advertising.
"A dedicated Online Agency account manager will guide the SME through the pay-per- click process and manage their campaigns, leaving them free to do what they do best.
"The account manager will research and recommend suitable keywords to optimise search position. We then create an advert for our customer and distribute it across our partner network.
"After an initial set-up fee, customers are then only charged for the clicks generated as a result of The Online Agency advert, making this a very cost effective exercise."
What Thomson calls its "partner network", however, consists of keyword ad placement on Google and Yahoo! search pages rather than a distinct network.
Listings customers can outsource their ad placement to Thomson but get a dashboard and click-through reports from Thomson itself.