Telstra’s advertising and directories arm Sensis is the latest to jump into the group buying space with the launch of Yellow Pages Offers, Mumbrella can reveal.
Although the site has not been officially announced, a soft launch has already taken place with offers for Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
The space is a competitive one, with most of Australia’s major online publishers investing in some kind of group buying play.
NineMSN has Cudo; Yahoo!7 bought Spreets; Amazon backs Living Social and Jump On it; and News Ltd and Network Ten are both investors in Our Deal. Meanwhile ScoopOn is involved in a legal tussle with GroupOn which is about to launch in Australia as Stardeals.
Today saw The Australian’s new financial columnist Nabila Ahmed take Telstra to task over its lack of a group buying site. She writes of Telstra: “Particularly worrying is its inability to develop a group buying business — such as Spreets or Cudo — when the core client base is the same small-to-medium businesses that populate YellowPages.”
In a statement to Mumbrella, Simon Betschel, group manager of Yellow Pages online and mobile said: “Sensis continues to look at new ways to broaden our offerings to our customers as we respond to the emerging digital needs of the SME market. The Yellow Pages Offers site supports the focus of our team which includes making it easy for small businesses to find more customers online and capitalise on opportunities in the digital world.
“Today, with the explosion of advertising channels via technology and the popularity of digital devices, Yellow Pages offers small businesses a growing range of marketing solutions across print, online, voice and mobile services, search engines and online mapping sites, new devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Android devices and Telstra’s T-Hub, and satellite navigation devices, to help deliver more customers through their doors.”