News release

Date: 25th October 2010

Yell Expansion of Online Consumer Reviews of Small Businesses to Benefit Charities

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October 25 2010 - Yell today announced a major online initiative that will drive consumer reviews and ratings of local businesses and services on its website, and at the same time generate donations for national and local charities.

The move is a significant development in online consumer reviewing of small businesses in the UK, and follows the integration with Yell.com of TrustedPlaces. Yell acquired the local review site earlier this year.

Yell.com users now have the opportunity to give their view on local businesses such as restaurants, hairdressers and beauty salons, with the service soon to be extended to plumbers and accountants. Users first select the charity they wish to support, with every review they write resulting in a 25p donation from Yell to that charity.

Yell is now developing a network of national and local community charities that consumers can select from. The first charities to partner with Yell.com under the initiative are Oxfam; leading UK conservation charity the Woodland Trust, which Yell has supported for more than a decade; and veterinary charity PDSA.

Sokratis Papafloratos, head of social products at Yell in the UK, said: "This initiative is a key stepping stone in our continuing mission to make Yell.com the most trusted and comprehensive source of local information.

“Consumer reviews and recommendations are important to other consumers searching online, and we want to ensure our SME advertisers get the best possible online presence, at the same time as benefiting charities that play such a vital role in our society. This is in line with our record as a highly sustainable business with a high priority on our responsibilities to communities outside business.”

Yell.com's expansion of online reviewing provides strong benefits to consumers through:
• enabling more informed decisions in selecting a business or service
• giving wider recognition of their opinion and feedback
• being able to raise money for their selected charities, including those in their local community

The benefits of ratings and reviews to Yell.com's SME advertisers are:
• the potential generation of more sales leads from positive consumer feedback
• greater visibility for advertisers’ businesses or services
• being at the forefront of consumer demand for wide user-generated content

Yell would like to hear from any charities that who would like to be involved in the initiative. They should contact trustedplaces@yellgroup.com

Kim Shilton, Corporate Partnerships Account Manager at Oxfam, said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Yell in such a creative way that makes clever use of social media to open up a new channel for further raising our profile and generating additional funds. Just £10 can buy 5 bags of seeds for a family, so you can see how quickly your reviews can build up into enough money to make a real difference to someone’s life.”

Sue Holden, Chief Executive at the Woodland Trust, said: We have a long established and very successful relationship with Yell, who we know sets a very high store on its community responsibilities as a highly sustainable company. This new initiative is a great example of the future ways in which charities such as ours can benefit from engaging with social media.”

James Puxty, Head of PR at PDSA, said: “This initiative from Yell represents an excellent opportunity for its partner charities. We already provide vet and pet editorial content for the site and will be following the reviews and ratings developments with great interest.”

Yell.com Launched in 1996, Yell.com is the UK’s local business search engine and a major online advertising medium for small and medium sized enterprises. Yell.com provides consumers with a direct and effective route to finding a business or service online using keyword, type of business, or company name and location as search criteria. Consumers can review relevant search results and quickly determine the right business for their needs based on detailed advertiser information and rich, vertical content to better help them make a decision. Yell.com’s up to date, comprehensive and trusted database of over two million UK business listings including 195,000 searchable advertisers (June 2010) can be accessed via the web site (www.yell.com), through web browsers on all mobile phones and a downloadable application available on a wide range of mobile devices. Yell.com also provides sophisticated, zoom-enabled maps to help consumers locate its SME advertisers, and provides other features such as walking and driving directions, closest car parks and street views.

Yell.com is part of Yell, a leading international directories business operating in classified advertising markets in the UK, US, Spain and Latin America through printed, online and telephone-based media. Yell’s principal brands include: in the UK, Yellow Pages, Yell.com and 118 24 7; in the US, Yellow Book and Yellowbook.com; and in Spain, Paginas Amarillas and PaginasAmarillas.es. All these brands are trademarks. www.yellgroup.com


Yell's online image library, containing product shots and logos can be found at: www.yellgroup.com/images


Enquiries:
Yell Press Office
Jon Salmon
Tel: 0118 358 2656
Email: jon.salmon[at]yellgroup[dot]com
Mobile: 07801 977340

Demelza Fryer-Saxby
Tel: 0118 358 2977
Mobile: 07834 893174
Email : demelza.fryer-saxby[at]yellgroup[dot]com

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