Spot Runner Chooses Yodle as Local Ad Partner

New York-based online local ad network Yodle has been chosen by national ad services company Spot Runner to provide local ads in a deal that will bring a bevy of new customers to the fast-growing Yodle while allowing Spot Runner to maintain a local ad presence.

Formed in 2005, Yodle has about 6,000 clients, said Joel Laffer, Yodle’s senior director of marketing and business development. He would not reveal the privately held company�s annual revenue but said there are slightly more than 300 employees and that the average Yodle customer spends $1,000 per month. Laffer said Yodle grew 700 percent from 2007 to 2008 and has grown an additional 200 percent so far this year.

Spot Runner is a media buying platform over which small- and medium-sized companies can purchase media on TV and radio. Earlier this year, the company laid off 60 people and sold the assets of Weblistic, a local search ads provider it had acquired in 2008. In a statement announcing the Yodle partnership, Spot Runner President John Gentry said the deal will allow his company to focus on its Malibu Media Platform and on its national advertisers.

Yodle won the pact after its performance was tested in a pilot program.

Laffer noted that demand for local advertising continues to increase even as the economy struggles. “There’s this huge shift happening for consumer eyeballs,” he said. “A ton of people are shifting from offline to online in terms of looking for local businesses and small biz owners are now shifting with those eyeballs.” Yodle will build Web sites for local advertisers, if they need them, and optimize their current sites. IT places local search ads on Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL City Guide, Ask and about 75 other sites, said Laffer.

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