Zip2 Launches Ad Program to Aid Newspaper Clients

Mountain View, CA-based Zip2 Corp., a provider of Internet solutions for media companies, launched the “Internet Start “advertising program designed to help local newspapers boost their online business by tapping already established print advertisers.

The benefit to advertisers is a cost-effective means of establishing an online presence, driving qualified traffic into their stores, Zip2 said. Zip2 fosters Web-enabled local commerce, connecting consumers with local merchants.

“In today’s market, traditional local businesses need to be online to participate in the electronic commerce revolution,” said Elon Musk, founder and executive vice president of Zip2. “With Zip2’s Internet Start Program, our newspaper partners can offer their print advertisers an easy, low-cost way to take that first critical step.”

Local newspapers participating in the Internet Start program may immediately begin offering an expanded online listing in the Zip2 business directory to their print advertisers. The advertisers receive a detailed listing of their business on the Zip2-powered sites, including details such as hours of operation and credit cards accepted.

Once advertisers are established online through the Internet Start Program, local newspapers can help them expand their online presence by creating full- blown Web sites to be linked to the Zip2 business directory.

“Having a critical mass of advertiser sites in the directory linked to the local newspaper site has the same effect as clustering complementary businesses together on the same block,” said Bruce Murray, vice president of marketing at Zip2. “Everyone’s site benefits from the jointly generated traffic.”

Media companies running their online enterprises on the Zip2 platform include The New York Times, Knight Ridder, Morris Communications, and newspapers in the Hearst, Times Mirror, Media General, Pulitzer Publishing and Freedom Communications chains.

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