A Richer Classified Ad Is Born

On- and offline classifieds player IPIX AdMission has rolled out an Internet classifieds platform that, if successful, will let businesses place rich ads on regional newspaper Web sites.

AdMission Classifieds is a template-based tool allowing easy creation of graphics-enhanced listings, a first for a bundled newspaper platform. Finished ads contain multiple tabs. They can include contact information, coupons and directions to a store or business. Searchers need not click away from the results page to learn more about an advertiser.

“Consumers are moving online rapidly, but there’s a gap when it comes to [marketing] local goods and services,” said Sarah Pate, general manager of IPIX AdMission. “This is for local advertisers to create compelling, relevant ads that connect to consumers.”

Local small businesses are able to create and place ads using an online self-service module, although IPIX said the more common scenario will be advertisers processing their listings via phone with newspaper staff. The AdMission platform can compress and upload images on the fly.

Initial publishers to sign on include The Seattle Times, The LA Times, The Austin American Statesman, The Atlanta Journal Constitution and others. In the coming week, the company said it will announce further publisher partners.

In addition to a publisher’s sponsored listings, which appear at the top of relevant classified search results pages, the AdMission platform provides business listings from Interchange’s local business database. When a user conducts a search on a newspaper’s Web site, the Interchange results appear below direct sponsored listings and are targeted according to a number of factors, including population density. (The more crowded the region, the smaller the geographical radius results are pulled from.)

By combining direct sponsored listings with courtesy listings from Interchange, IPIX brings a more robust set of search results than searchers would find were newspapers to carry only the paid listings they sold directly. Interchange last month struck a deal with YellowPages.com to offer PPC local advertising via its Local Direct search platform.

AdMission Classifieds uses a subscription-based pricing model. IPIX said the goal is to turn it into a fixed-price PPC system and eventually introduce keyword bidding.

Next month, IPIX will roll out another platform in its AdMission line. Called AdMission Directories, it will use similar templates to target yellow pages and other directory publishers.

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